Daylight Dies
Dismantling Devotion

I’ll forgo the usual introductory band history and opinionated opening paragraph and get straight to it; With their second album, North Carolina’s Daylight Dies have masterfully yet subtly elbowed their way into the international metal elite. Not only does Dismantling Devotion separate the band from what is essentially a two band race within the US’s limited doom/death genre (with November’s Doom being the other band), but it elevates the status of Daylight dies into international realms of brilliance previously dominated by the likes of Opeth, Rapture, Swallow the Sun, Insomnium and Slumber.

I focus on the above mentioned Finnish greats because quite simply Daylight Dies sounds like a Finnish crafted masterpiece of elegant yet depressive eloquence. The mixture of lush, aching melodies, draining layers somber emotion and measured aggression is a perfect mix of all the Finnish masters of mope. Throw in the light/dark hues and vocal textures of Opeth (especially the clean vocals of bassist Egan O’Rourke) at their Still Life peak, and Dismantling Devotion ends up as a much needed beacon of quality American metal that isn’t stoner, thrash or death metal.

As with most masterpieces, Dismantling Devotion must be appreciated as a whole entity, not a track by track jaunt searching for highlights (of which there are plenty). The almost full hour of music needs to be assimilated as a hour long trip into somberly crafted brilliance and dispirited bliss. From the soft Opethian opening tones of ‘A Life Less Lived’, through the weaving structures of ‘Dead Air’, the layered dramatics and stout Rapture-esque trot of ‘A Dream Redesigned’, the utterly draining Draconian like melodies that open ‘Solitary Refinement’, to the surprising mix of heft and acoustic clarity of ‘Lies That Bind’, to the titular closing instrumental, Dismantling Devotion just enthralls and captivates with its blending of moods and perfectly paced song writing. Like shafts of light piercing the darkest clouds, Daylight Dies manage to keep you on the edge of a depresive abyss, but lace it with a despondent beauty that mesmerizes as the razor glides across your wrist.

Even my general disdain for instrumental title tracks, lack of real ‘killer’, album defining track (though ‘Solitary Refinement’ comes close for me) and a slightly canned if effective production doesn’t hinder my high regard for what seems to be a landmark American album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 28th, 2006

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