Candlelight Records is lucky to have a band as good as Daylight Dies on their roster. This group is so consistent and embody why metal can be so much more than a cliché small brained, violent party soundtrack. For anyone who has ever experienced true loss or the types who are up early in the cold morning to reflect, for those who need time to themselves to center their thoughts, Daylight Dies is your soundtrack. I actually save them for when I am in a certain mood and no other band will do. If I listen to them casually it is awesome but soon pulls me completely into murky, if bleakly beautiful, thoughts. It is all to tempting to live in that place.
The best moments of LOST TO THE LIVING were a new high water mark for the band, and it is great to hear that they have not stopped pushing themselves on A FRAIL BECOMING. The Jens Bogren (Opeth, Devin Townsend) mix is near perfect. Everything that is great about Daylight Dies is still present; crushing, My Dying Bride snail-paced guitar, dynamic and chilling yet warm quieter classical passages, death metal growls that convey actual deep/difficult emotions, intoxicating solos that will make you fucking sob if you drink too much wine. Their albums should be part of every metal collection.
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“A Final Vestige” is outright stunning, a Pink Floyd meets November’s Doom-esque brooder that is completely complemented by the searing, brilliant guitar solos near the end of the song. Indeed, Barre Gambling and Charlie Shackelford never dissapoint. This band can always be relied upon to have mind-blowing guitar work, utter tempo patience maximized to outstanding emotional lift and much more. See the tranquil, hallucinatory lucid dream of “Sunset” before dueling guitars reminiscent of Metallica’s “Orion” sweep you up before a prog-doom drenched melancholia descends like black rain. The way the middle of stunner “Ghosting” just climbs is like branches reaching for the sky. I also love the fuller expression of clean vocals on this release. Rather than detrimental, like when it is so obvious a band is just trying to write a hook to get more commercial, Daylight Dies use of melody is another sharp tool like everything else.
Opener “Infidel” is mysterious and sets the tone for much to come, though not as gut-wrenching as “Cathedral” (which opened LOST TO THE LIVING). Still, when Nathan Ellis’ harsh vocal cry rips in near the top of the song, you have to grin, feel pumped up and know you are about to take another epic fucking dark metal journey. Heart wrenching, nostalgic, tragic in the best sense…this is music to thunder through dead cities, mountaintops, broken homes and shattered hopes. It is for picking up the pieces and trying to carry on. Losing and finding yourself again. And so much more.
I can only fold my hands and bow my head in respect.
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