Daylight Dies - Lost to the Living
Melodic Doomdeath
9 songs (51'28")
Release year: 2008
Daylight Dies, Candlelight
Reviewed by Alex

As a rather busy person I can’t possibly attend all metal shows going through my area (not to mention I have to drive for at least an hour and a half to a closest decent metal venue), so I have to pick them very discriminately. Having used up the quota this month on the Dark Tranquillity headlining Cleveland gig, I could not possibly go and see Daylight Dies opening for Candlemass in the same place. For those of you with more time on their hands – do not miss this North Carolina melodic doomdeath gem. In a way, I am proud to have reviewed their No Reply debut on Relapse before the band gathered much acclaim, before famous live shows opening for Emperor, before Candlelight gave them the attention Daylight Dies deserves.

It can be conjectured from the above that Daylight Dies is going to usher their latest album Lost to the Living while touring with Candlemass. Having the knack to get on the right tour (or is it simply the luck of picking the right promoter) – Daylight Dies has certainly demonstrated such trait over the years. Touring with Katatonia and Moonspell in 2006, however, does not mean riding the bigger bands’ coattails. Taking a cue from the heavyweights in the genre is nothing to be ashamed about, as the Moonspellish drum solo on Cathedral indicates.

While not aping Katatonia (we can leave that to Rapture), Daylight Dies is a solace to the fans of the Swedes longing for their earlier doomy days, when Jonas Renkse could growl. Lost to the Living demonstrates Daylight Dies creating a mélange of beautiful acoustic melodies built atop and through some harsh heavy rhythm section. That, in and of itself, would be nothing new to the Asheville, NC outfit, but over the course of their almost 10-year existence they got so much better at it by now. Moreover, Daylight Dies circa 2008 is not content with merely playing simplistic sappy melodies. While there are some by the canon guitars (A Subtle Violence) the band lays some left-of-center melodies right next to them, constantly searching, exploring to the very end. While their music is no doubt cohesive and flows beautifully, I could point to a number of unexpected, basically sideways, composition shifts (Cathedral, A Portrait in White) where the band steps outside the envelope periodically picking up heaviness and disharmony. All of these movements make Lost to the Living a bit more multilevel, a little more difficult to grasp than No Reply or Dismantling Devotion, but with this album true fans will be guaranteed many relistens.

Interestingly, after with multiple spins I almost assigned an emotion per Lost to the Living song. Violin on the instrumental And a Slow Surrender speaks to aloof estrangement, while guitars bring self-assurance. Cold notes of At a Loss bring in floating funeral atmosphere of self-pity, rescued by the jumpy nervousness of the choppier middle instrumental passage. Drums give almost an unexpected relief pulling away from the on-the-edge dark but disquiet strings of Last Alone.

Nathan Ellis worked out well for Daylight Dies on vocals, his bottomless growls are as strong as his clean vocals (Woke Up Lost) are convincing. Still, the whole band has improved in the musicianship department, Descending rightfully bearing Opethian progressive death label. Going with Jens Bogren/Fascination Studios (Opeth, Katatonia, Draconian, Eluveitie) to master and mix the album is a move that would certainly add volumes to Daylight Dies sound, but the band has to watch for not losing their individuality, not becoming to sound like every other European doomdeath band.

On that note, Daylight Dies, although hailing from North Carolina, certainly sound a lot more European than North American on Lost to the Living, which is neither a compliment nor a criticism. The progress is undeniable, the class, which has always been there, has been further raised. If you count yourself amongst the aficionados of dark, heavy, melancholic music, you have no excuse not to count Daylight Dies amongst your favorites.

Killing Songs :
Cathedral, Woke Up Lost, Last Alone
Alex quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Daylight Dies that we have reviewed:
Daylight Dies - A Frail Becoming reviewed by Neill and quoted 90 / 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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