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CD Review: Daylight Dies – Dismantling Devotion

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It takes a rare CD to turn my head for something out of the ordinary, but that’s exactly what happened when I received the latest release from Daylight Dies. The album’s tone is set with the opening track “A Life Less Lived” which clocks in at an epic eight minutes plus, and it doesn’t get much shorter from there, with most tracks falling in the five to seven minute range. Dismantling Devotion marks Daylight Dies’ return to recording after a four-year break.

Instrumentally, some of the longer song instrumental intros will remind you of your favorite early Metallica riffs. Vocally, it’s hard not to make the Opeth comparison with a hostile vocal laid over a strangely calm and driving metal landscape. The band is described as “Dark, Desperate and Melancholic Metal” and they certainly fill out that definition! Daylight Dies delivers a song and a moment for each of your moods, whenever they may strike.

While definitely not the heaviest album you will ever come across, the Daylight Dies album has a little bit of something for everyone, whether you are a prog-rock guy, a heavy metal guy, or maybe you are that guy that likes to play air drums while the fan blows your hair back. Just kidding, kind of.

Daylight Dies have assembled a strongly compelling album that times out at almost an hour, and they get that done in a mere eight tracks. There is a good amount of clean vocals that are mixed into the songs to good effect, and probably the best thing about this album is that while the songs are long, they don’t overstay their welcome.

The band itself originates in North Carolina, which floors me. I was for sure that like many of the good bands in their genre, surely they must be from Finland, or Norway, or somewhere, but North Carolina, eh? Knowing this, there might just be hope for this thing called “music” yet!

Tour dates for the band appear to be limited to a couple of dates in July opening for Emperor in New York City. Hopefully with the album release forthcoming in March, more dates will be added.

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About Matt Wardlaw

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Nice review, I just saw them live on the first night of Moonspell’s Nocturnal Mourning Tour. I had never heard them before, and I ended up quite liking them. Sounded like a cross between Mastodon and European Doom.

  • Ray VanRiette

    As Daylight Dies
    Killswitch Engage

    At this point we pretty much know what to expect from a new Killswitch album, and “As Daylight Dies” is no exception. Upbeat, energized and aggressive, Killswitch continue to deliver meaty, hook-laced metal for the millennial masses. That being said, that very same consistency could quickly become a curse rather than a blessing.
    “As Daylight Dies” is a slightly more focused album than “The End of Heartache,” and has a more balanced feel throughout thanks to more carefully arranged dynamics. The pace and textures of the songs are varied enough to keep the record from ever wearing out, but at the same time it seems to lack some of that intangible element that makes good the songs great and the memorable albums classics. “As Daylight Dies” has plenty of big hits, but no real head-smashing knockouts.
    That’s not to say there’s nothing good here; indeed, there are a number of smoking new tracks on display. Album highlights such as ‘The Arms of Sorrow,’ ‘My Curse’ and ‘Break the Silence’ all demonstrate that Killswitch have lost nothing of their melody, riffiness or ability to write inspiring and uplifting emotional crescendos within a modern metal context.
    The riffs all sound more-or-less familiar but feel a bit different. Emphasis continues the example laid out by “The End of Heartache” on faster guitar work with suitably deft frills and fills, but this leaves one wondering where all the impact of the more moderately paced chug riffs of “Alive or just Breathing” has gone. Even with a moshcore breakdown in nearly every song, these tunes simply don’t hit quite as hard as past material. Vocals and drumming remain impressive, but deliver nothing new and lack much of the tenacity and vigor that got these guys where they are today.
    Even though the album has a slightly different feel, you won’t mistake it for anything other than a Killswitch record. “As Daylight Dies” will tide over rabid fans looking for new Killswitch songs, but won’t blow away casual listeners.
    Bottom line, it’s a step in the right direction for a band that’s great at what they do but are beginning to run the risk of burying themselves beneath a wealth of similar sounding material. The next step is to come back and deliver an amazing record which will surprise and shake up the existing fan base. “As Daylight Dies” is a solid rocker that sees Killswitch remaining near the top of the modern metal pile – but in a genre that thrives on passion and renewal don’t expect them to stay there for long if the next album doesn’t drop jaws and kick balls.

  • Steve

    What a total dick you are to post a KSE review. Yes, KSE – a gigantic top 40 band decided to use the same name for their album as the band name of Daylight Dies.. a name which they’ve used for over 10 years. What’s the point? KSE are morons for not using Google to see if the name had been used? Fuck off.

  • Ray VanRiette

    Um, sorry Steve. I did write that KSE review (a long time ago) but I certainly never posted it here.

    Daylight Dies is a phenomenal band, and Dismantling Devotion is my favoritealbum of theirs. Highly recommended! =)