Daylight Dies - No Reply
Relapse Records
Atmospheric doomdeath
9 songs (61'13")
Release year: 2002
Daylight Dies, Relapse Records
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

One knowledgeable friend of mine introduced me to Daylight Dies by sending me a copy of their debut EP Idle. Those five cuts intrigued me enough that as soon as I saw a copy of No Reply in the “nobody interested” bin in an obscure CD store somewhere-in-the-middle-of-Ohio I grabbed it.

It is too bad that not many people know about this young American band as their music definitely deserves some attention. The first brief listen inspires quick comparisons with Opeth, Katatonia and early Amorphis. The fans of those bands, indeed, will do well in picking up a CD by Daylight Dies. Multiple listens, however, reveal a band not trying to rip-off any of the aforementioned Big Three. Unlike the Italians Novembre, who are really a less complicated Opeth Jr., Daylight Dies is trying to play a brand of atmospheric doomdeath metal of their own.

I recently saw a show on a nature channel where scientists tried to predict what life on Earth would be like in 5 – 200 million years from now. The climate became so hostile that humans had to leave, only evolved weird forms of life survived. All of the continents got fused together, thus creating one big body of water and one big body of land. Some parts of the MegaContinent are a hot desert, other parts – desolate ice fields with ice reaching 2 miles thick in places. Since there is no dry land to break up hurricanes, those can achieve monumental proportions, and are called SuperCanes. Why am I telling you this? The music on No Reply is like this. One moment it is slow, melancholic and atmospheric, just like that ice desert. Another moment it explodes in a fury of hurricane heavy riffs. Four Corners starts with those driving riffs, but disintegrates into a slower medley. In The Silence starts quietly, almost acoustically, and builds up into a mid-pace emotional rage. The best balance, no doubt, is achieved on Unending Waves, the best song ever penned by Daylight Dies, in my humble opinion.

I found that with Daylight Dies it is best to embrace the music as a whole, not trying to dissect the individual performances. But, since some of you out there may be interested, I will try. A multitude of leads projects melancholy and human pain throughout the album. I may be wrong, but some of the guitars are layered as sometimes there is “more guitar sound” than one guitarist can produce at a time. The guitars are kept distorted to make it sound “melancholic tortured”, not “melancholic pretty”. The drumming is excellent, and Jesse Haff deserves to be mentioned by name! His snare is confident and the tom rolls are explosive, true Unending Waves! Guthrie Iddings sounds a tad too much like Mikael Akerfeldt (oh, this is where the Opeth comparisons come from!) trying to growl. The only place where clean, almost spoken, vocals are used is at the beginning of In The Silence.

Where Daylight Dies can definitely stand some improvement is in the production department. I understand that the budget may be limited, and the band has done well with what they have had, but at times it sounds as if all the instruments converge in one constant line of sound. Also, with a few riffs and melodic leads it sounded as if Daylight Dies wants to break away from the canonic classical tradition of which chords belong together in a particular minor key. You almost expect that THIS chord will follow, yet they give you THAT. I know I haven’t described THAT well, but it is what I felt. It is like you are walking a labyrinth and you expect to turn left, but instead you must turn right.

All in all, Relapse did very well in signing this band. Good things can be expected in the future.

Killing Songs :
Four Corners, Unending Waves, In The Silence
Alex quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by Daylight Dies that we have reviewed:
Daylight Dies - A Frail Becoming reviewed by Neill and quoted 90 / 100
Daylight Dies - Lost to the Living reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Daylight Dies - Dismantling Devotion reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
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