Daylight Dies
Lost To The Living


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ethereal Space Yogurt USER (204 Reviews)
July 31st, 2008 | 85 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Daylight Dies latest album finds the band sticking to their melodic death/doom roots with moderate success. Although not as spectacular as Dismantling Devotion, Daylight Dies remind us why they're one of America's premier metal acts.

When I first heard that Daylight Dies, one of my favorite American metal bands were in the studio recording a follow-up to their stellar “Dismantling Devotion” I was more than ecstatic to obtain it and run home quickly to rip off the tape and put it in my CD player. And I have to say, they failed to disappoint with this excellent, thought provoking piece of melancholic metal. Daylight Dies are an American melodic death/doom metal band forming out of North Carolina in 1996. Since then, they’ve released three full length albums, just releasing their debut, No Reply in 2002. No Reply was an impressive start for the band but it wasn’t until their follow up Dismantling Devotion that I really began to dig the band. Although heavily influenced by Scandinavian and U.K greats such as Katatonia, Paradise Lost, and My Dying Bride, Daylights Die took complete control of their influences and created a new and refreshing sound to the doom metal genre. Characterized by hypnotic guitar melodies, pummeling harsh vocals, and depressing atmosphere, Daylight Dies have brought their formula to the table once again only to let another prominent influence seep through their densely layered formula.

What influence is that? The answer is Opeth but not in the progressive rock or raging death metal tendencies shown in the former bands catalogue. Instead of the above, Daylight Dies went down a similar route that Opeth had undertook with Watershed. Daylight Dies like Opeth, manage to one up themselves and create an even more depressing record than before thanks to spare piano melodies and tasteful synthesizer flourishes outlining the guitars. Now I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence or not but Watershed and Lost To The Living were both released at similar times and boasts similar qualities. One thing I noticed was that Daylight Dies began to experiment with the piano on some of the tracks, not overbearing and tacky but as a sparingly used tool to help build atmosphere. The most noticeable comparison I’ve made so far would be to compare the clean vocals of Mikael Akerfeldt and Egan O'Rourke. On the last album, Egan shared more in common with latter day Jonas Renske but here it seems he had a change of heart and decided to impersonate Mikael.

The tracks, “Woke Up Lost” and “At A Loss” are the only tracks to feature all clean vocals. That’s one more than Dismantling Devotion but I can’t help but notice the similarity of tone and depth between both vocalists. “At A Loss” The song starts promising enough with a clean riff holding a nice beat before rhythm guitar enters the fold to lend a nice post rock influenced riff to layer lead guitar. Followed by warming synthesizers, it begins to feel more like an Agalloch track until Egan begins to sing. Fortunately, he has a great voice which he uses to a limited but great effect on Lost To The Living. Enough about Watershed though, let’s get to the main focus of the album. Daylight Dies possess two certain aspects that help differentiate the group from the rest of the pack. One are the harsh vocals from Nathan. Most Doom bands utilize extremely deep, bellowing growls that rarely distance themselves from other bands but with Nathan I feel I could recognize his vocals from an unmarked doom metal compilation. Nathan doesn’t go as guttural or as deep as so many others but does in fact have a sharp and highly aggressive delivery complementing the highly melodic nature of the guitars. Another thing that plagues me with most atmospheric doom albums is the lack of progression displayed. Lost To The Living boasts considerable shifts and varied tempo changes, more than anything I’ve heard in recent times. For an atmosphere driven album, this is definitely riff oriented as the guitars shine as the brightest light without question.

Charley Shackelford and Barre Gambling have caught my eyes as one of the most promising duos in metal. Granted this isn’t a very heavy album but they make up for it with superb melodies. What I like most about these guys is how they can bring out emotion from the listener with their tightly executed riff work. Lead work is impressive, adding somber flair to the music with tasteful soloing as rhythm guitar chugs away with the aggressive metal edge needed to balance out the melodic overtones. The acoustics are brought in again to add another layer to the densely textured working space. There are plenty of impressive instrumental interludes which holds immense lasting power as the vocals both clean and harsh aren’t as prominently used. In this fashion, I hold their instrumental tracks in high regard. The title track to Dismantling Devotion closed out the album in a graceful manner as “And A Slow Surrender” acts as a cushion between “A Subtle Violence and Last Alone. Jesse Haff and Egan O Rourke form a solid foundation for the drums and bass respectively. Jesse’s drum patterns revolve around slow to mid tempo and forms a solid rhythm with plenty of double bass and hard hitting snare blasts. Bass is pretty solid too with Egan ripping some thundering bass lines that follow the guitars lead with ease.

Completing the package is solid production giving a clean and crisp sound capturing each instrument perfectly. Vocals are perfectly in synch with the guitars, drums, and bass and nothing is overshadowed by the other. As for the album, does Lost To The Living surpass Dismantling Devotion? I’m going to have to go with no but this is still an excellent record for metal fans to check out. The main factor that resulted in my decision was that to me, Dismantling Devotion boasted more standout tracks like Lies That Bind, Solitary Refinement, and Dismantling Devotion. There isn’t really one track that screams instant single on Lost To The Living but that’s not to say that there’s any filler because each track has it’s own measure of greatness. Just nothing that could come off as catchy as Lies That Bind. Fans of doom, melodic metal, death metal, or aggressive music in general should give this a spin as it’s an impressive model for where American metal stands at today.



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3.8
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As one of the few remaining American doom metal bands to be cranking out brutal, melancholic, truly ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
July 31st 2008


44630 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So yeah, I thought this was a popular album, finding that it has a 4.3 rating. Whats up? Is it already going to get bumped by an influx of Demon Hunter reviews?

On another note, this album was a slight dissapointment but still solid Daylight.This Message Edited On 07.31.08

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

robin
Emeritus
July 31st 2008


4249 Comments


nice chunky review anyhow.

Crimson
July 31st 2008


1935 Comments


heh, you were pretty unlucky at the timing of this, already being bumped down. Very good review, I'll be sure to check this out, even if I am a bit wary of the death/doom scene.

still though, I seem to love Opeth influenced bands if not Opeth themselves, so this could be right up my alley.This Message Edited On 07.31.08

Willie
Moderator
July 31st 2008


16050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, but yeah, bad timing apparently. I always thought these guys were a metalcore band. Now that I know they're not, and that they're actually what you described above, I am going to have to check them out.

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

Hawks
July 31st 2008


35838 Comments


Really good review. I thought they were metalcore too Willie.

BallsToTheWall
July 31st 2008


44630 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why, because of Killswitch? Other than than I'm puzzled.

Willie
Moderator
July 31st 2008


16050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't remember why I think that. I just know I did. Probably cause of the Killswitch connection.

Hawks
July 31st 2008


35838 Comments


I think there's a metalcore band with a similar name. I forget. It might be Diecast. Thats why I get them confused.This Message Edited On 07.31.08

SHOOTME
July 31st 2008


2393 Comments


Balls, your reviews have taken a large step up recently.

Thor
July 31st 2008


10200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll get around to listening to this eventually. I really really like Dismantling Devotion, so I'm pretty excited about this.

North Carolina represent :cool:This Message Edited On 07.31.08

jrowa001
July 31st 2008


8750 Comments


good review. you know my opinion on this already haha

Yazz_Flute
July 31st 2008


18811 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is solid but i forgot about it after a few listens.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

BallsToTheWall
July 31st 2008


44630 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fuck my computer.This Message Edited On 07.31.08

Poet
July 31st 2008


5935 Comments


good review, though there are some grammatical errors that I found annoying. That is just me being a douche and nitpicking though

AngelPhoenix
July 31st 2008


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This hit me harder than Devotion actually, really awesome album.

BallsToTheWall
July 31st 2008


44630 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The problem with this is that there's no Lies That Bind thatreally hits you in the face. Album is solid though.This Message Edited On 07.31.08

Thor
July 31st 2008


10200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn skippy about Lies That Bind. Song is so powerful

BallsToTheWall
July 31st 2008


44630 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree.The title track for Dismantling is so epic, and pretty much has turned into one of my all time fav instrumentals. The one on here isn't too shabby either.

rasputin
July 31st 2008


14550 Comments


Nice review Balls. I still haven't checked out this band, might do so with this album.

AngelPhoenix
August 1st 2008


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

btw Balls, really great review the second and last paragraphs in particular are really well thought out and presented.

Spinning this and Devotion a couple of times each over the next few days to see how they line up.



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