On the tenth anniversary of their formation, DAYLIGHT DIES has released their second LP “Dismantling Devotion.” Beside their previous album, 2002’s “No Reply,” there’s also a live album from 2005 and an EP from 2000. For “Dismantling Devotion” they got a new vocalist, but kept the outlook on life—dreary.
DAYLIGHT DIES plays sort of Melodic Doom/Death meets Progressive Goth. No, I don’t mean that there’s a James LaBrie wannabe singing about castles and vampires, I mean that despite the overwhelming sadness and self-loathing you get from this disc the band usually plays in a tempo too fast for Doom proper and use other elements unbefitting Doom that are warped just enough by acerbity to work. The band brings to the table the expected crushing, mournful guitars, but at a faster pace. There are acoustic guitars, but rather than being isolated as one would normally suspect, “All We Had” pits them directly against the electric assault—and they come out in elegiac harmony. Bassist Egan O’Rourke provides some clean vocals to compliment vocalist Nathan Ellis’s tortured growls, though not as often in similar bands. “Solitary Refinement” is the only song that sticks out in my head where they played a major role.
It’s a good and immediately rewarding style. While there aren’t many bands plying the style, DAYLIGHT DIES is still a dead ringer for NOVEMBRE. The elegantly plaintive guitar harmonies rising above the grinding, sad riffs, the variable-but-often-faster-than-usual tempo, the mixture of Doom/Death and Goth, you get all of these trademarks from both bands. While it’s not enough for me to call shenanigans or “rip off,” it is more than enough for a reference point.
The material on “Dismantling Devotion” is no feat to understand, but it is certainly good. It’s a fairly specialized interpretation of Doom and Goth that fans of either style would benefit from listening to. If you’re a fan of NOVEMBRE or NOVEMBER’S DOOM, it’s practically required listening. The compositions are lush, the playing skilful. While it may be lacking that inexplicable factor to raise it higher, “Dismantling Devotion” is a great listen and a good album. (Online April 24, 2006)