Review Summary: Hold me in place while I disintegrate and turn to dust.
Dayseeker is quickly becoming one of the most beloved bands in the metalcore scene. Blending pop vocals with heavier guitar riffs and driving beats, they have breathed life into a scene that, in its current state, didn’t quite know where it was going. By no means is using clean vocals and pop vocalists in metalcore a new thing, but lately, it has been done in more innovative ways than in the early 2010s where every band followed the same exact structure. The truth is, Dayseeker doesn’t sound like any band that has come before them or who is out right now. Sleeptalk
is their fourth album and their most cohesive to date.
This record flows together like nothing I have ever heard. Not that every song is connected in any way, but the tracklist is perfectly placed. Opening with the brooding “Drunk,” we immediately get a taste of the experimentation that Sleeptalk
presents and unconventionality that Dayseeker brings to the metalcore scene. The next few tracks, which acted as singles for the song showcase different aspects of the band that all work in tandem. The guitar work and melodies of “Crooked Soul,” the heartache that pounds throughout “Burial Plot” and the absolutely exceptional soaring melody in the chorus of the title track are unforgettable each in their own way. Any listener will be hooked to hear what the rest of the album holds.
Dayseeker’s heavier side is still present in Sleeptalk
. Interlude track, “The Embers Glow” leads into the absolute crusher of a song “The Color Black,” who’s beautiful intro flows seamlessly into a groovy and meticulously played riff. “Gates of Ivory” also showcases the heavier capabilities of Dayseeker while not sacrificing the gorgeous soaring voice of Rory Rodriguez in the chorus. The bouncy drum intro which leads into the equally bouncy guitar riff draws the listener right back into the energy after the depressive acoustic track “Already Numb.” The closing track, and undoubtedly the shining star of the record, “Crash and Burn,” is an unconventionally eerie slow build into one of the heaviest things that Dayseeker has ever released to this date. The gorgeous and misleading first half of the song devolves into an angry display of emotion within every facet of the band. While some of the heavy moments (mainly breakdowns) in the album feel a bit forced and thrown in to please the crowd of people who are against more melody, “Crash and Burn” delivers on every front.
The softer and slower moments throughout the album hold just as much weight as the more intense sections. “Already Numb” exhibits honest and unforgiving words of heartbreak and agony. Local Los Angeles singer Seneca Pettee is featured on the gutwrenching track “Starving to Be Empty,” giving a new dynamic to the album and challenging Rory on his vocal abilities, but ultimately showcasing his fabulous falsetto in the conclusion of the song.
There isn’t much to say about this album that isn't praising. Rory’s voice is as incredible as ever, delivering some of my favorite melodies that I’ve heard in a long time. Upon first listen, even though the song is absolutely fantastic, I pinned “Burial Plot” as my least favorite song, but every time the album goes back around it gets harder and harder to choose that title. The only complaint that comes to mind while spinning the album is, as was mentioned before, the breakdowns at the end of “The Color Black” and “Gates of Ivory” are a bit derivative and uninspired, though the short-lived double-time part at the end of the former displays a fantastic groove that is impossible not to move to. As a whole, though, Sleeptalk
is an astoundingly beautiful album full of raw emotion, gorgeous melody, brilliant riffs, notable synth lines, and hard-hitting lyrics that any fan of melodic metalcore would be remiss to skip over this year.