After the somewhat disappointing Lifetime Supply Of Guilt, the boys in The Duskfall rallied themselves together one more time to make their last effort The Dying Wonders Of The World. The band had already suffered from their weak last album, it was nothing like their other two great efforts and soon after the release, the original vocalist of the band, Pär Johansson, left for good. Since Pär was such a big part of the band and its image, one would probably assume that The Duskfall would be finished. Well, after this album here, they pretty much were, but before breaking-up, the band decided to create their last opus. They recruited a new vocalist Kai Jaakkola (and also a new bassist, Matte Järnil, who replaced Kaj Molin), went to the studio and started working their asses off.
This band tried, they tried really really hard and they did manage to finally pull it off. The Dying Wonders Of The World (I wonder if there is a glimpse of irony thrown into the album title) is nothing like The Duskfall's previous efforts, but it is a rather fitting closer for their career.
This album, like already mentioned above, is a fair bit different then the rest of The Duskfall's albums. First-off, the guitar sound is a lot crunchier than before, especially in the verses. The guitars almost completely shadow the bass because of that, but that’s ok since the crunchy guitar sound is a novelty on its own. Second-off the production is different than on The Duskfall's other albums. While on their other records the production was more clean and was clearly aimed to bring out the melodies, then on here it is much more atmosphere orientated. This album quite literally has a evil vibe to it and at times the music displayed here sounds downright chaotic. The third difference is naturally the new vocalist Kai Jaakkola. He has a very similar vocal style to Pär Johansson as he also, during 95% of the time, prefers a raspy shout. For older fans of The Duskall Kai’s vocals may (while being very similar to Pär’s) take a while to sink in, but for newer listeners, that really isn’t much of a issue since Kai is a decent vocalist as well, albeit maybe not just as good as Pär was.
Now what about the album's sound itself? Well, it is a lot better than on Lifetime Supply Of Guilt. The Duskfall have thankfully dropped the thrashy riffing that did not suit them at all. They haven't completely returned to their roots either though, the guitar sound displayed on here is like old-school melodeath with a modern raspy/crunchy touch. Also, thank god, the solos are back, and they do impress on this album. There aren’t too many of them but when there is a one, it certainly fits the context perfectly. The melodies found on this album are also great, but they really aren’t much like they were on The Duskfall’s first two albums Frailty and Source. They are more coeval and don’t resemble bands like At The Gates and In Flames any more.
The Dying Wonders Of The World is also a very consistent album, there isn’t a single filler track on it (just like on Source). If to bring out some highlights, then the best three tracks would be “Paradises Into Deserts”, “ Shadows And Cancer” and “I've Only Got Knives For You”. The first is a very solid opener that sets a great mood for the rest of the album; “Shadows And Cancer” is the most epic song the band has ever done. It has an amazing solo and is a sure contender for the best song The Duskfall has ever recorded while “I've Only Got Knives For You” is an eerie closer that has a haunting, fulgurating melody. It’s a rather perfect song to end a career with. The rest of the songs are good too and none of them become repetitive or boring, making The Dying Wonders Of The World great as a whole. It is not a compilation of songs, it is a real album.
The boys in The Duskfall really pulled themselves together to make a great final effort. I believe they already knew before releasing this album that they won't be together as a band for much longer and so they put all their effort into this album. And it shows. This is not a casual half-assed melodic death metal album, this is a worthy closer for a worthy band who showed us that with effort and willpower, everything is possible.