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Nothing remains but a burning heart - 75%

PaganiusI, January 10th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Independent (Cardboard sleeve)

After covering his latest release, I finally received his other works and decided to move backwards in his discography. 13 Days Before Suicide was formed by the sole member David Hübsch (Odium, Discreation) in 2012 and released one album and 2 EPs to this date. After covering the latest EP, the next step is the first EP which was released in-between the debut album and the second EP. "Nichts bleibt" and its five songs seem to be the logical consequence of the self-titled debut album and lead the way to "Kurzer Moment", yet it remains the project's latest and most mature release to date. Yet there's not too much difference between the two which gets kinda proven by the fact that one of the songs was later re-released on the other EP and doesn't really stick out.

Compared to his other works, this is probably the release with the best production. It's pretty clear while remaining aggressive and "rough". It has bits of edges here and there, so it's nowhere near dead or cheesy, but therefore really pushing powerful with a heavy and quite dominant bass and base drum. They don't drown anything really, but you can really feel the vibrations at a moderate volume. Otherwise the vocals are yet again the most dominant part of the mix, but the guitars follow close and there's not too much space between the individual instruments. It's just a really decent and fitting production without going out of bounds or favoring something to an unhealthy degree. That also leads to the bass being far less annoying than on its successor.

Musically, I was right in my last review: the two EPs are pretty close together with only few differences to be found. The first one is obviously the sound I already discussed, but that aside the first EP is a bit more straight forward in its approach to melodic death, pushing the songs forward with more energy and force while remaining very melodic and driven by nicely crafted but mostly rather basic riffs with occasional solos here and there. On top of that, the riffing gets a slight bit blackened at times leading to a rather dark and almost a bit threatening sound. This melodic partly groovy riffing is unsurprisingly the keystone of the instrumentation given that the mastermind behind the project is playing guitars for Odium for more than 20 years now.

The riffing gets backed up by a solid drummer who's providing a fair amount of basic drumming that keeps the songs at a rather steady pace and supports the bass with some triggered base drum action. Every now and then he adds some sprinkles of interesting turns and beats that lighten up the otherwise rather flat progression. The bass does its thing and follows the guitars through the release adding dark spots, heavy string action and some nice power to the mix while already suffering a tad bit from what I think is the worst part of the successor: annoyingly swirling string tapping that sounds like a fast moving Spoink (Pokémon). Luckily it's not that dominant/noticeable so it doesn't affect the listening quality too much and for the most part, the bass lines are pretty enjoyable just like the drumming.

Lastly the vocals. They are pretty much in the foreground in all songs except for the instrumental final track (obviously). They consist of harsh, almost manic screams, sometimes similar to Eisregen, sometimes more melo death inspired and sometimes a bit dsbm infused and make up for a really intense presentation of the lyrics. In addition to that they add to the dark atmosphere of the release by having bits of reverb on them, having some grumpy growls here and there and bits of other "experiments" like messing with stereo and stuff like that. They remain my favorite part of the band's sound, but the instruments really caught up and even though the instrumental is my least favorite track on this CD, it's rather positive vibe and dreamy wandering with some jamming does have its charm. I just prefer music with vocals...

To sum things up, I enjoyed this EP a lot more than the other two releases, mainly because it's better produced with a lot more power to it and less awkward bass lines and keeps up a really nice pace and atmosphere. The songwriting is pretty nice too and less random than on the follow-up and not just some instrumentation to back up the vocals. There's a nice progression going on and the instrumental at the end delivers a nice change in mood. So yeah, I really think this is the band's best effort so far and it is really enjoyable sinister melodic death metal with a "dark metal heart". So yeah, no harm in checking it out, it's a good EP.