If you talk about Finnish Gothic Metal, then, with the detour via SENTENCED, you will quickly find the quintet CHARON, which already had established itself at the forefront of this sub genre with their previous two albums "Tearstained" and "Downhearted". With the again very happily titled "The Dying Daylights" we now have their fourth long player already and it could finally bring them the breakthrough.
Far away from bands like H.I.M., CHARON create a very melancholic atmosphere, which does not have any "poppy" touch and has evolved during the years without trying to take in commercially more promising regions or even form a crass style change. Lead by charismatic singer J-P Leppäluoto (who live has a true stage presence, holding the crowd firmly in his grip) the band can look back on a stable line-up ever since their formation (formed in 1992 already and since 1995 with Leppäluoto in the line-up) and that also shows in their music, which is melancholic yet very tight.
The energetic up tempo opener "Failed" sweeps away any potential accusations of wimpiness and also the following, again very catchy "Religious/Delicious" we get some frying guitars, which together with Leppäluoto's great dark voice mark the songs of CHARON. Overall all songs show the experience and maturity that the band has won over the years, with a very good balance between melancholy, melodies that stick to your brain no matter what, catchy choruses, heavy guitars and the typically Finnish atmosphere in the sound of the 13 songs.
As very interesting detail some female vocals especially have been added in the choruses to add another dimension, not in the foreground as a duet, but rather subliminal it gives an own touch that you do not hear often and in closing "No Saint" the lady also may sing a bit more, but without stepping into the kitsch pot as she does steer clear of any kind of soprano. The single "In Trust Of No One" also is driving, energetic, melancholic, melodic and simply very catchy, perfect track for a single, if you ask me.
Even though the album has "only" 11 tracks, my promo contains 13 tracks, I have no clue, if there are any bonuses there, but all of them sound really good and fit with the rest. Unless the tracklist is completely through the roof here and any tracks I mention here actually are others…
You won't find any big surprises or also experiments on CHARON's fourth album, but that has, I guess, not been the intention of the Finns anyway, for that they have created a very cohesive and catchy album that does not overtax the listener, but at the same time does not get too shallow and still satisfies even after several listens. (Online January 15, 2004)