Monday, October 20, 2008

DAYLIGHT DIES - Lost to the Living CD Review

DAYLIGHT DIES - Lost to the Living CD
Candlelight Records

It's good to see a hometown band do good once in a while and DAYLIGHT DIES has surpassed that mark. Their 2005 sophomore release, Dismantling Devotion, garnered critical acclaim. The band also wound up on tour in 2006 with KATATONIA and MOONSPELL. So after spending much of 2007 recording this their third full length and second with Candlelight Records. It's time to see whether their studio time was well spent. And after a few listens I think it's an almost flawless Melodic Doom release.

What DAYLIGHT DIES has achieved on Lost to the Living" is what various past great Doom bands have lost. That being the ability to put out some decent Doom Metal be it in the Gothic, Melodic or Progressive vein. PARADISE LOST had a great release last year with In Requiem, also on our SCUMFEAST METAL FAVORITES FOR 2007 list, but that's the extent it. Other past greats like KATATONIA and ANATHEMA have both turned into entities that could find their way onto DJ playlists at dance clubs. And not the kind of clubs I'd ever go to. Now I will say DAYLIGHT DIES has been heavily influenced by those three bands, along with OPETH. But while their detractors, mostly those who think the US can't produce a decent Doom Metal act, might point that out to be a bad thing. I say to hell with it since it's more like a passing of the torch. And the proof is on this disc.

The CD opens with "Cathedral" a song that showcases the band's grasp of Progressive sophistication and beauty along with pure painstaking despair of Doom. Guitarist Barre Gambling leads us on a melodic path. While Nathan Ellis's guttural growling vocals keep the listener grounded in reality. "A Portrait in White" is my favorite cut on here. The pace is faster with hints of PARADISE LOST moodiness. Great guitar work especially at the song's climax and Ellis's vocals sounding like a beast caught in a trap. "The Morning Light" is another intricate arrangement layered in romantic depression. No I'm not about to slit my fucking wrists. I would play this thing late at night around turn in time. "A Subtle Violence" sounds more slowed down Progressive Metal than Doom. It also sounds restrained as if an explosion was averted at the precise moment. Gambling's ability to control the tempo here is amazing. I'm expecting him to just rip through the song but it doesn't come to pass. Early on I said that Lost to the Living was an "almost" flawless melodic Doom release. The "almost" part comes by way of two cuts sung with clean vocals by bassist, Egan O'Rourke, which are "Last Alone" and "Woke Up Lost". Hey look nothing against the guy or the band. Both cuts break up the structure of the music on the CD. It's just that I'm not one for hushed clean sounding melodic songs in Metal. Otherwise all the rest is fine and firmly places DAYLIGHT DIES into the ranks of their genre heroes.

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