Review Summary: Ignore the title, it means exactly as much as you think it does.
I can’t confess to knowing what the hell Dayseeker or any of their ilk are thinking when they choose titles like Dreaming Is Sinking /// Waking Is Rising
for their new albums. Between unfortunately cringey comparisons to Hotel Books’ album titles and a general confusion as whether these names actually mean anything, it can be an early nail in a very, very premature coffin. First impressions are key after all. The second impression isn’t so hot either as opening track “Dreaming Is Sinking” is just forty four seconds of ambience and ambiguous voice samples. Thankfully, third impressions are just the trick for Dreaming Is Sinking /// Waking Is Rising
(I’ll be damned if I ever type that out again in my entire life).
“Vultures” is the real kicker here, Rory Rodriguez spitting venom in the verses over frenetic fretboard runs and earth-churning low end grooves. As usual, when the chorus kicks in it's Rodriguez’ soaring cleans that take the spotlight, lyrics of sexual assault cutting to the bone all the while. “Vultures” ends up being one of the best tracks on the record, and perhaps of Dayseeker’s career. Thus it’s a little unfortunate that the album is a tad inconsistent next to its predecessor, Origin
, which was nearly front to back full of melodic metalcore bangers. Cuts like “Sleep In The Sea - Part II” and “Waking is Rising” are right up there with it, but the rest of the pack doesn’t quite hit those heights. I’d be lying if I said the bottom of the barrel here was bad by any stretch though, in fact it's hard to pick out a song besides the limp intro that’s particularly skippable. In that way maybe Dayseeker are consistent after all...screw it, my head hurts now.
One of the biggest shifts for Dayseeker here is that there are vastly more instrumental highlights than on previous albums. Sure, “Black Earth” had some slick rhythms and Origin
was permeated with atmospheric guitar passages, but it always tends to be Rodriguez in the spotlight at the end of the day. “Sleep In The Sea - Part II” is a bit bottom heavy looking at the riffs, but there’s some impeccably shifting, dynamic stuff going on in these rhythms and Garret Russell’s (of Silent Planet fame) feature during the breakdown in the back-half is absolutely eviscerating. The slick, methodical guitar tapping that opens up “Waking Is Rising” is delightful, and the drum work across the whole album is like that old golden retriever your grandpa probably had...reliable and always chugging along. Rodriguez’ harsh vocals continue to close in on the power of his cleans over time. On Dayseeker’s debut in particular he was prone to monotonous phrasing, though Origin
likewise improved on this. Here it makes sense that Dayseeker’s aggressive side has slipped out to match his improved screams, as bottom heavy open note chugs match rapid fire riffs to greater effect that previously. The dynamic shift from mosh pit rallying cries to crooning interludes is still pretty disparate, but just as always Dayseeker seems to have a knack for making the transition sound smoother than it actually is.
So, is Dayseeker’s junior release formulaic at times? Certainly. The songs generally fol
low your standard heavy verse, sing along chorus pattern, but to their credit there’s some adjustments to the balancing act at times and their ability to slide in mellow, atmospheric passages livens things up. Do the best tracks overshadow the rest of the pack? Again, yes, but the rest of the pack is pretty damn fine on its own to be fair. So what’s the problem here exactly? Well there isn’t much of one really. Mainly, Dayseeker are still working through some permeating genericisms (comparisons to a more melodic Silent Planet or Architects are sure to arise) and there’s still room for both maturity and cohesiveness to grow, but all in all Dayseeker’s third, and exceedingly poorly titled, album is a pretty firm hit.