Daylight Dies - A Frail Becoming
Candlelight
Doom Metal
9 songs (48:50)
Release year: 2012
Daylight Dies, Candlelight
Reviewed by Neill

I have had a fairly long history with this band. I had owned Dismantling Devotion shortly after it came out in 2006, and saw the band on their tour that year with Katatonia, and Moonspell. I was certainly a big fan at the time. That continued through the next album, Lost To The Living. I was very excited when the new album A Frail Becoming came out late last year.

As far as an opening track, Infidel wastes no time in introducing the album. I can say, when compared to the last two albums, the song has a faster pace and seems more "upbeat" while still maintaining a very doom sound. The faster pace took me by surprise at first, but sounds excellent. Nathan's vocals are on point on the track, yet sound a little lower in the mix to me than the prior releases. The song does have some slower parts as well, and as a whole, is a fantastic introduction to the album. The next track The Pail Approach follows a similar pattern, being a fairly fast song. The melodic guitar parts underneath the heavier instrumentation is a great layering choice and make the album sound sad while being heavy as hell. We do get some slower parts near the middle before going back into the fast paced death/doom to finish the song.

By track three, Sunset, we start to see a little bit of the slower side of the band come into play. The guitar lines are slower, the drumming more subdued, and we even get our first taste of clean vocals on the album courtesy of bassist Egan O'Rourke. The clean vocals interplay with the harsh vocals of Nathan, and compliment one another wonderfully. The song also features a fantastic solo, which I will get into more later. Dreaming of Breathing takes the album back to a bit of a heavier sound during the verse of the track. The intro and middle of the track a slow, and dreary, with the rest of the song having that faster tone we heard earlier in tracks one and two.

As we get into A Final Vestige We go back to the slower side of the coin. The clean vocals come back, and interplay, once again with the harsh vocals. The clean vocals on the album sound amazing, clear, and melancholic. The vocals fit the music and mood, and hell even the idea of "doom" metal perfectly. Ghosting continues on the slow side, having an incredible intro. The majority of the song ends up being a guitar solo, which is incredible. What better time to talk about the guitars on the album. The mood on the record is just outstanding. It's great that these guys took some time and created a great moody, heavy and layered album. This is no My Dying Bride Map of All Our Failures atrocity. This album actually sticks out and draws in the listener. The leads on this record are phenomenal. They stand out enough to showcase the ability of the musicians, but also work within context of the song and album as a whole. The leads are very tasteful, while being exceptionally well played and a true joy of the album.

The final 3 tracks on the record continue what we have heard before. Hold On To Nothing features probably my favorite or second favorite lead on the album. The song sticks to the harsh vocals, and the music is more in the middle of the road as far as speed. Another stand out track, due in big part, to the excellent solo. Water's Edge is, and I hate to use this word, an unneeded song. I suppose some may feel it is a nice "palate cleanser" or lead into the final track, but I see it as a minute and a half we could have done without. Its pretty, but doesn't add anything to my experience of the record. The final track, An Heir To Emptiness is the longest track on the album, and a very fitting end. The intro starts off very slow and melodious before we get into the distorted guitars and harsh vocals. The music itself, while heavy, stays to the slower side of the coin, shooting despair out of the speakers. Around the 4 minute mark, we get a slower, clean guitar section, leading into a nice lead and taking us back into the despair ridden heaviness of the track. The album winds down, and I'm left with chills and hair standing on my arms. The most "doom" song of the album as far as I'm concerned was saved for last and makes the listener question their existence by the end. A fantastic way to end a fantastic album.

I admit, that after 4 years of time in between albums, I had kind of forgotten about this band, instead favoring other doom bands or progressive black metal bands. However, when I heard this album was coming out I was very excited. I have had some time with this record over the last year or so, and I have to say it still hits me every time. This is a very strong record. I was taken aback by the quick pace of the record in comparison to the last two records at first, but it really works . As I mentioned earlier, the mix sounds slightly low in some cases (the vocals) but I do not find it to be a detriment in any way. I enjoy the sound of this record. I feel that this is a very strong addition to the catalogue of the band, but I do feel it is slightly a step below the last two albums. Only very slightly. This was a highlight of 2012 and should be in any collection of a doom metal, or hell any metal fan. 90/100.

Check out the video of Dreaming of Breathing here

Killing Songs :
Infidel, Sunset, Dreaming of Breathing, Ghosting, Hold On To Nothing, An Heir To Emptiness
Neill quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Daylight Dies that we have reviewed:
Daylight Dies - Lost to the Living reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Daylight Dies - Dismantling Devotion reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
Daylight Dies - No Reply reviewed by Alex and quoted 77 / 100
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