Enough melodic death metal muscle to raise the dead
Company: Candlelight Records
Reviewer: Grim Gaijin
It's hard not to compare Daylight Dies with bands like Opeth and Agalloch. However, upon first listening to their sophomore release, Dismantling Devotion, you will notice not only a striking resemblance to both aforementioned bands, but a menacing originality that sets them apart as well. With epic songs, clean and death metal vocals, acoustic parts that would make Jim Matheos (of the great Fates Warning) jealous, and enough metal muscle to raise the dead, Daylight Dies have hit near-perfection with this release.
A Life Less Lived starts off with a bit of acoustic ambience then kicks it into high gear with a heavy (but melodic) riff. Soon afterwards, the death vocals take over the mix, along with some mid-paced death metal action that is reminiscence of classic Rotting Christ. With crystal-clear production, all elements in the mix are equally balanced, especially during the clean vocal parts of this song. The second song, Dead Air, starts off with a Fate's Warning-style acoustic intro and then crescendos into more slow to mid-paced death metal. Dead Air really shows off Daylight Dies' talents for creating heavy, yet atmospherically beautiful melodies, without straying too far out of the genre. Searing guitar solo's and shots of double bass compliment this song as it is one of my favorite tracks from the CD. The third song, A Dream Resigned, is another example of Opeth-influenced death metal. Sounding like it could fit right in with Opeth's Still Life CD, A Dream Resigned is a punishing yet emotional track that satisfies from start to finish. The fourth song, All We Had, sounds like a (much) heavier version of Inside Out-era Fates Warning. However, when the death vocals kick in, we are reminded of the grimness and intensity that sets Daylight Dies apart. The fifth song, Solitary Refinement, is one of the slowest numbers on the CD, showing their versatility to incorporate various elements of doom metal. Backed by more clean vocals, this is another standout track - and another one of my favorites. The sixth song, Strive To See, continues the assault with masterful, melodic riffs. One powerful feature of this song is that the tightness of the musicianship can be heard more here than on some of the other tracks. The seventh song, Lies That Bind, starts off with a crushingly heavy riff then fades into an acoustic rhythm with clean vocals. That does not last long, as the death vocals come from out of nowhere and dominate the rest of the song. The final track, Dismantling Devotion, can be considered the "glue that holds the wood together", as it combines elements from the other tracks to close this album as strongly as it started. Although it is an instrumental track, it is as powerful as the rest of the CD.
Is it possible to be as dynamic as Opeth without the 70's-influenced prog rock? How about sounding as sonically diverse as Agalloch without the epic song lengths? Sure it is, just check out Raleigh, North Carolina's Daylight Dies. By combining elements of both bands, and adding their own unique take on melodic death metal, Daylight Dies have created a masterful (and very skillful) album in Dismantling Devotion.
Daylight Dies - Dismantling Devotion - 2006 - Candlelight Records
|Track Listing1. A Life Less Lived|
2. Dead Air
3. A Dream Resigned
4. All We Had
5. Solitary Refinement
6. Strive To See
7. Lies That Bind
8. Dismantling Devotion
9. A Prayer For The Feeble
Fans of Opeth, My Dying Bride, Katatonia, and even old November's Doom should find plenty to rejoice in with one concentrated spin of "Dismantling Devotion". This is the sophomore effort from the atmospheric band, the follow-up to the group's debut in 2002 entitled "No Reply". This album was mixed by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios (Opeth) and mastered by Thomas Eberger at The Cutting Room (Opeth, The Hives). The overall sound achieved here is one of somber tones and masterful strokes of cold bitterness. This isn't done in the style of reckless abandonment however, instead what we have is a focused band that simply paint their atmosphere with soft, lethargic riffs that invoke isolation and frost. The melodies found here are very flowing, almost capturing the sounds and images of frozen ice crackling and snapping under foot. While tracks like "A Life Less Lived" and "A Dream Resigned" flow with harsh vocals and beautiful, calculated melody, other songs like "Strive To See" are slightly faster, really going only as far as a mid-tempo pace with some groove oriented riffs. "Solitary Refinement" is the highlight for me, capturing the same vibe and atmosphere as Maiden's "Afraid To Shoot Strangers". Without a concentrated listen the whole album runs together. For best results, give this an undisturbed listen. Opeth fans should dig this right up, breaking the ice, if you will, in search of soul nourishment.