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"White stained red
Of vacant eyes
The hallow dreams
Of a barren life
Yield no resolutions
This pain induced
Coma of wakefulness"
The stars truly aligned for the stunning 2006 Daylight Dies release, Dismantling Devotion. That's not to say their other work is poor by any measure, indeed the group (along with Esoteric) remain my personal favourite doom metal band to date, (chiefly due to this album) but whatever genuine magic possessed this band I've not found duplicated anywhere before or since. Dismantling Devotion is nothing short of a monolith of the style; each moment and track taken to its nth degree. The band were evidently truly blessed with an amazing supporting staff. This album epitomizes getting the most out of an artist, and if this site's community reviews are any indication, the band has not since matched the elegance captured on this superlative effort.
This record is the most genuinely gorgeous synthesis of elements I've ever experienced in doom metal. (And to some extent music at large.) Lush acoustic arrangements layered atop slathers of guitar laden effects, counterpointed with elegant melodic riffs, juxtaposed over the longing, hearty gutturals of Nathan Ellis, and the serene, soothing cleans of Egan O'Rourke. (Who I share a family name with no less!) The band's command over and use of sound is breathtaking, and I say so wary of overusing such dramatic language. Every element of the album's construction is superbly executed and mixed. The drums are thundering and clear, the bass is thick and full, the many layers of guitar are nothing short of regal in their delivery and sound, and the contrasting vocal performances absolutely put this album over the top. Egan and Nathan's confluence of talent are as brilliant as they are complimentary, and sincerely amongst the best vocal duos I've yet found in metal. Customary of the style the lyrics on this album are rich and evocative, introspective and emotionally candid. Barre Gambling and Charlie Shackelford weave an elaborate, wistful world, lulling the listener into contemplative respite, inviting escapism. The band's apt use of counterpoint, and the balance between the atmospheric and more immediate elements are an elegant constant throughout the album, and were gracefully handled and mixed.
I am generally more reluctant than not to use such gushing terms as "elegant", "graceful", and "majestic", but truly, without reservation, this is one such metal album that is as genuinely beautiful as it is impressively and legitimately "metal". Some albums are impressive from a constructive standpoint, that is to say well designed and executed. Some albums are deeply evocative and emotionally compelling, inspiring great personal sentiment. This album, whether you are a fan of doom metal, metal generally, or simply enjoy somber, melodic music with an open mind, can appeal to a broad spectrum of people. It is as well designed as it is compelling. It is as gracefully executed as it is visceral. It is powerful and inspired and yet subdued and pensive all at once. Dismantling Devotion is (as so many superb works are) a sinfully overlooked gem of both the style and metal broadly. An authentic and distinguished, formative effort that the band needn't ever bear any shame for not duplicating. It is beyond question my favourite doom metal album of all time, and amongst my favourite historical works regardless of genre. Will lightning strike twice for Daylight Dies? Time will be the judge. You owe it to yourself as a metal fan, and triply so as a doom metal fan to track this album down. May this wonderful group of artists become part of your life as well.
Favourite Tracks: A Dream Resigned, A Life Less Lived, Solitary Refinement, Lies That Bind.
Dismantling Devotion is probably my favorite album of all time. There isn't any other album that deserves 100 percent in my opinion and I will tell you why.
First off, there aren't ANY flaws in this album. Not one. The way everything was put together is magic. I really did not think it was possible for an album to be this great. In my opinion, this album surpasses anything Opeth or Katatonia ever released (no offense to anybody who doesn't agree). Don't get me wrong. I am a die hard Opeth and Katatonia fan and I always have been one. What surprises me the most is that Daylight Dies haven't even been around for as long as Opeth and Katatonia yet their music somehow sounds better. Anyway, I don't really want to get off topic, so I'm going to talk more about the album itself.
The song structure and the production of this album is a whole lot better than their previous full length entitled "No Reply". Every track has great song structure and production, but the greatest example would be "A Life Less Lived". Especially after 4 minutes and 20 seconds throughout the song there is a part that will really blow your mind. So for those of you who want to get into this band, "Dismantling Devotion" is the perfect album to start with and to stick with. This album is like heroin. Once you give it a shot, there is no turning back.
Nathan Ellis, the new vocalist has introduced one of the best death/doom growls I have ever heard. It really sounds magical with the music. The bassist, Egan O'Rourke, provides the clean vocals on this album and I must say he does one hell of a job. The tracks on this album are quite long, but they NEVER get boring at all. This is not the type of album you would only enjoy a couple of times. This is the type that is always enjoyable, beautiful and even cherished. The drummer has also done a wonderful job as he provided many different off beats that went extremely well with the music.
Folks, you have to give this one a shot. I can guarantee you won’t regret it one bit (this goes out especially to old era Katatonia fans). This is THE perfect album. It never ceases to amaze me.
Standout Tracks: Every single one.
With this release I think the Americans have released one of the best doom metal albums ever. I'm not too familiar with this band, but apparently they had another vocalist in the past – and this is the first album that was recorded with the new vocalist.
This band plays an amazingly good mix of doom metal, mixed with plenty melodic tunes. The guitar solos complement the music in a very excellent way, and it is one of the main reasons why it gets labeled “melodic doom” (even though it's not a real genre, I know. But you kind of get the picture, right?). A lot of the guitar riffs just have these wonderful vibes of melody and sadness that really complements their music in a beautiful fashion.
Track 'Dead Air' (track #2) has lovely acoustic guitars at the very beginning, and this track is also one of my favorites on here. Why? Because this track has such an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G feel to it. If you want to get into this band, listen to this track first and tell me if part 0.51(and throughout the song) doesn't give you an awesome feeling. This particular part that I am referring to has a lot of harmony and emotion put into it. The vocals have so much harmony in them that it's just breathtaking (the same goes for the guitar notes hit on this beauty). More acoustic guitars will be found on track #1 'A Life Less Lived' (heh, I'm not going in order, sorry), which by the way it is the intro/track of this album. Right from the get-go of this opening track, it starts out very acoustic up until 1.23 where everything starts to kick in (drums, vocals, guitars, etc).
The vocals deliver a very excellent dose of heavy monstrous growls that can show a lot of emotion. Boy, I don't know about you guys that might think their old vocalist was better, but this vocalist (Nathan Ellis) is outstanding in everyway possible. His vocals suits the music dead on, bringing to the table the common doom metal sounds of depression and darkness. There are even clean vocals on this full-length as shown on track ‘Lies That Bind' and others. The closing album title track on here is a very nice and soothing instrumental track. The track is 6.59 minutes long and you won't even realize those minutes are going by. You see people, this is really what I call music – the type that really hypnotizes the listener and its really why I'm giving it such a high score.
As crazy as this might sound, this is probably one of my favorite albums of all times. Amazingly enough, they are also from the United States! And yes, they are just as good as all those excellent doom metal bands from Europe. I cannot think of any more clever words to say to recommend this album. Its greatness is very hard to explain with just words! I've whored this album 5 or 6 times today, and I loved it. This band has everything that you could wish for in a doom metal band – from amazing melodic guitars, to very harmonic and depressing vocals and lyrics. As I tried to say before, they are not your everyday doom metal band, and they are a band that shows A LOT of emotion through their music. This album is definitely a masterpiece in my heart, and it will stay in my collection for my whole life (crazy, huh?).
Finding this band for me was a complete jackpot. After an obsession with the album 'Brave Murder Day' by my favorite band Katatonia I was in need of some more fantastic and impressive doom metal and this album satisfied my every need. In many ways it sounds very similar to the doom/death era of Katatonia due to similar styles of guitar work, song pace and vocals. But there is more going on with Daylight Dies then just the worship of classic doom metal because their sound is polished on every level and their song writing really does show great talent.
This album is a rewarding listen that really does well to draw the listener in and keep you interested until the very last note. Musically this album sounds sorrowful at every turn. This sorrowful sound is captured brilliantly as the guitars, bass and drums all play a part in making these songs unquestionably heavy but with dashes of dark melody. It creates a melancholic sound that will have you hooked from the first lengthy song. To put it simply you will not want this album to end due to its ability to flow seamlessly from one track to the next.
In my opinion a perfect piece of doom metal normally has melodic yet heavy guitars and slow paced song structure. Daylight Dies meets that criteria for the most part but even when they choose to deviate from this the music is still very enjoyable. The song 'Lies That Bind' is a song that at first glance seems like more doom metal in the same vain as the rest of the album but a closer look shows this song to be quite different. This is an example of how Daylight Dies can change characteristics of regular doom metal and still keep the same atmosphere and feeling of the genre. The solos within this song are almost worth rewinding just to listen to them twice as they are superb. The solos are not the most technical ever written but they are still intricate, impressive and more importantly they fit in perfectly with the sound.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the vocal and lyrical content of this album. The lead vocalist has a style of death metal growls that is very powerful and he portrays the sheer sorrow of the lyrical content brilliantly. The bassist also spends some time showing his vocal talent as he provides impressive melodic sections. With both of the vocal styles mixed together so smoothly it makes for a more then likable sound. The variation of vocal style really does well to portray the beautifully written lyrics of this album. Make no mistake these lyrics are not at all happy but the best music never is. Seek this album out if you want something a little more meaningful then the recycled rubbish we hear too much these days.
Here we have a band that has gone the route that Katatonia could/should have gone after ‘Brave Murder Day’. Calling them a clone wouldn’t be accurate or fair, however they do bear more than a passing resemblance to early to mid-period Katatonia in a few places. The biggest differences would be that Daylight Dies is far more aggressive than Katatonia and that they create busier pieces of music.
The guitars are heavy and melodic. This band really utilizes the concept of lead and rhythm guitars as they rarely follow what the other is doing. There are a few solos (leading one to believe that Barre Gambling was/is a shredder) interspersed throughout. The melodies are passionate and intricate. There are a lot of good ideas on display here and for the most part they are used to good effect.
The bass is thunderous and the drums tight. The rhythm section here cannot be accused of slacking. They compliment the guitars very well. The vocals are another standout feature on display as they are vicious and intense. New vocalist Nathan Ellis is an outstanding Death Metal vocalist. His range is mostly low to mid, but it fits so well compared to the bands prior vocalist its like night and day.
There are some clean vocals (provided by the bassist) that add nice touches throughout the recording. Over all, this is by far the bands best work and prime example of American Doomdeath Metal. The song writing is also excellent.
One of the drawbacks would be this had a tendency to drag on a bit as some of the songs blend towards the end of the recording. They do have enough strength to stand on their own or together however. The songs are slow to moderately slow and are very consistent. The good production only adds to this.
This is very recommended for all walks of Metal as there is something in here for everyone.
This band is definitely worth checking out if you like instrumental, progressive style metal, as well as doom, death or goth metal. I know, with all the different characterizations and styles of "METAL" labels that are thrown about in today's music market, one needs a dictionary to track them all down. This is not repetitive thrash or speeding 18 minute crescendos, so I just hope that description helps for any people who are just hearing about this band.
Vocals: A nice mix is found here, we have the growl style for sure, but on songs like "Dead Air" for instance, we get a mix up of style in that area as well as some nice backing vocals here and there. Although the "growl" style of vocals (also attributed to Progressive Sludge Metal) is never my favorite, this vocalist does a great job of coming through in more of a clean style that fits well with the music, as opposed to some guy who sounds like he gargled sandpaper all day before settling into a two hour set of screaming words into a microphone that nobody can understand.
The structure and overall production of this album are excellent, and I can tell these guys put a lot of effort into this recording. Each song has a lot of strength and there is not one on here that sounds like some haphazard filler. What I also like about it is that it is not repetitive or formulaic, it strikes me as different and the varying tempos and rhythms make it much more enjoyable than again...some guy who gargled sandpaper screaming for two hours backed by frenzied 18 minute solos that go nowhere.
The first track, an instrumental titled "Life Less Lived" has some haunting synth on it and a beautiful instrumental section that carries dark emotion with it all the way through. If this track doesn't get one hooked to check out the rest, I don't know what will.
Daylight Dies new disc, Dismantling Devotion is a natural progression from their previous work on the "Idle" EP, and their full length debut, "No Reply". Everything about this disc has been stepped up from No Reply.
New vocalist Nathan Ellis picks up from where Guthrie Iddings left off, adding more "throaty" growl to the melodic doom of Daylight Dies. I was a little apprehensive when I heard the band had gotten a new vocalist because I did enjoy Guthrie's vocals a great deal, but Ellis has not been a disappointment in any sense, and I think I may even enjoy his vocals more than Guthrie's!
Moving on, the instrumentation of this album is phenomenal. Lots of great riffs, acoustic guitars, and very nice drum work courtesy of Jesse Haff.
Rather than go on and on, i'll leave it at that. If you're a fan of doom metal, this is for you. Old Katatonia? better go fuckin' buy this.
Overall, melodic doom metal does NOT get better than this, and this is an absolutely essential metal disc of 2006. Hail Daylight Dies!