The Living Fields
Running Out of Daylight

From the band’s 2004 The Miseries Never Cease EP to their self-titled, self released 2007 debut album, I’ve long championed The Living Fields as one of the most criminally unsigned bands in metal. Well, the unsigned part was rectified with the band signing with Candlelight Records, and though this album took its sweet sweet time in coming (I interviewed founder Jason Muxlow talking about this album almost 2 years ago) , it was well worth the wait.

Summing up The Livings Fields sound succinctly is difficult. They meld doom metal, progressive metal, heavy metal and epic strings into a stirring, challenging sound. However, the most challenging element of The Living Fields is vocalist John Higgs (of Monsterworks), whose Cam Pipes (3 Inches of Blood)  meets Ihsahn croons and death metal bellows are what will make or break the album for many. For me now, three releases in, they make it and when combined with the music, they make for one of the most unique and brilliant and engrossing acts around.

The bar was set pretty high with the band’s last album, as “Burial at Sky” is still one of my favorite metal songs ever, but by god, the first two songs from Running Out of Daylight ensures that The Living Fields get your attention; Opener “Remnant” is an sturdy, lurching, doom hymnal with a utterly stirring main string bridge. Then “Perseverance” is this albums ‘Burial at Sky”, a number that alternates between plodding, layered doom melancholy and a rousing, upbeat thrash/power metal canter.

After those two tracks, things settle down a bit with “From Miseries to Blood…” a more traditional, introspective doom track, albeit with a great somber acoustic fade out and “When the Walls Go Up” a delicate fireside acoustic/vocal number. Then “Bitterness” drops  the albums only real weak track, as other than a nice transition about 5 minutes in, wanders a little too much for me for its early going. The track that might divide fans  is the shorter track “Glacial Movements”, a track that appears to have more of Higgs’ Monsterworks-influence with a more steady rock , traditional heavy metal pace, but the strings that flock the songs awesome final two minutes make it end with a positive taste.

Luckily, the album ends as impressively as it starts, making up for the so-so middle as the 16 minute title track delivers what The Living Fields do best with rangy, epic but sober doom metal, with emotive strings and eclectic vocals and a great middle third that has a dramatic, cinematic scope.

What makes Running Out of Daylight even more impressive is (as with the previous releases), that none of the band members have ever actually met in person, as they reside in three different countries (US, Canada, England). All of their recordings are done via different tracks, FTPs, mp3s and emails. Amazing.

 

 

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 8th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    Listened to this once and I didn’t like it at all. I thought the vocals were horrible and annoying.


  2. Commented by: Clauricaune

    Killer album. I’m really enjoying it.


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