posted on 2/2006 By:
Mid-era Paradise Lost pilots the black lion, mid-era Katatonia pilots the red lion, Anathema pilots the blue lion, October Tide pilots the yellow lion, and The Cure pilots the green lion…together they create the mighty mecha-robot Daylight Dies. FORM BLAZING SWORD!!!
Right…I probably lost everyone younger than 30 with the above Voltron reference, so here’s a quick breakdown - take equal parts mid era Paradise Lost & Katatonia, add a smidgeon of Anathema & October Tide, and season lightly with The Cure - you’ve got yourself a yummy soufflé of North Carolina’s Daylight Dies.
There’s been a hell of a lot of hype surrounding the pending release of Dismantling Devotion, and based on the general metal public’s high expectations, this is actually quite understandable. Daylight Dies is the band a lot of people hoped Paradise Lost would have become if the ‘commercial bug’ hadn’t bitten them. They also received a lot of positive press following their first album, No Reply. Couple all this with the fact it took 4 years to create this, their sophomore effort, and you’ve got veritable metal-hen-house full of squawking metalheads eager for it’s release.
Metal chickens aside, Dismantling Devotion left me duly impressed. I remember being pleased with the band’s first effort, but ultimately felt it lacked what was needed to hold my interest long term. I think the boys pretty much solved what was missing with this release. Dismantling Devotion is chock full of weepy guitar melodies, forlorn Death Metal caterwauling, and general feelings of gray depression. It’s more focused, complex, and holds deeper textures than No Reply, yet remains unmistakably Daylight Dies. In short, Dismantling Devotion is a melancholic, Death/Goth Metal album with a solid set of balls. It’s not devastatingly heavy (apart from the opening riff to track 7, “Lies That Bind”), but what it lacks in ferocity, it more than makes up for in its genuine despondency. There are also no flitting keyboards, orchestrations, or female vocals present, which definitely helps set Daylight Dies apart from many of their peers.
Also of note is the amazing production and overall sound on Dismantling Devotion. Throughout its entirety, each instrument is as clear as a bell, allowing the listener to hear what I believe is the shining spot of Daylight Dies – the excellent bass playing of Egan O’Rourke. His fantastic bass-work (along with the solid rhythm of drummer extraordinaire, Jesse Haff) ties all the songs on Dismantling Devotion together beautifully. Check out his superb noodling in the heart of the second and third tracks as sound proof of this man’s expertise. The rest of the band is obviously quite adept at their craft as well. As I mentioned earlier, this album is loaded with finely crafted, weepy guitar leads and medleys. Track one, “A Life Less Lived”, and track three, “A Dream Resigned”, are excellent examples. It’s songs like these that can throw a most welcomed, wonderfully gloomy shroud on my mostly sunny California days. Song five, “Solitary Refinement”, is the closest thing to a ballad on the album. It has a beautiful, slow, sad opening, and features some ‘floaty’, light guitar work and ethereal, clean vocals in its midst which definitely brings Blackwater Park-era Opeth to mind. Interestingly enough, the album closes with an instrumental title track…something relatively unconventional, but definitely effective, as this track actually stands out as my favorite.
Not much to point to as far as drawbacks on Dismantling Devotion. At times there’s a tiny feeling of repetitiveness in a couple tracks, but I’d be willing to bet this will fade as the album sinks in further in the coming year. Overall, I’d say if you’re a fan of Death/Goth Metal, this is a no brainer. Put a check in the win column for Daylight Dies, I have a feeling they’ll be hitting it big this year. This is a solid slab of agony.
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