Rating:
7.0
Daylight Dies - A Frail Becoming
9 October 2012


01. Infidel
02. The Pale Approach
03. Sunset
04. Dreaming Of Breathing
05. A Final Vestige
06. Ghosting
07. Hold On To Nothing
08. Water's Edge
09. An Heir To Emptiness


The first thing that strikes me about this album is how well-written and performed it is. The second thing that strikes me is just how pale it sounds despite this impeccable songwriting and musicianship. Daylight Dies are expert at their craft, it's just a shame that that craft isn't all that compelling in the genre of melodic doom to which they opt to perform.

Perhaps the main culprit is their stringent approach to sticking to a tried and true middle ground between melodic death and doom. In fact, more often than not, Frail Becoming falls more toward the former side with a slight temperament of the latter. Melodies are slightly varied in pacing and fleet in and out of melancholic death/doom to the more urgent delivery of tracks like the opening "Infidel" and "The Pale Approach." Most tracks follow a pattern of slowed melodic death given an identifiable albeit characterless face of depressing doom. "Hold Onto Nothing" or the closing cut "An Heir To Emptiness" are the best examples of their planting feet more firmly on doomed soil.

The atmospheric touch is what will likely lend replay value to the listener's ear and they are very subtly utilised often fading into the background requiring you to follow in their wake. The guitar lines meander along unglorified patterns and there is almost humbleness to the way it all sounds; a very natural and somewhat hidden flourishing of melancholia on the verge of burgeoning forth from the well positioned harsh and clean vocals of Ellis and O'Rourke respectively. The consistent yet fragile guitars don't bear enough of a potency required for effectively memorable death imbued melodies nor do they enshroud the listener in thick depressing blankets of doom; though they don't sit idly, they do fail to fit either of these moulds in their attempts at both.

The production creates something of a light feel toward the entire album which works efficiently in quieter moments such as those which purvey "Sunset" but retract from the density of the more death/doom geared melodies present in the latter tracks. Despite this the album does possess considerable variance which gradually moves from its more comfortable slightly quicker passages to an unfurling of timid yet melodically enticing doom. The aggressiveness to these latter songs are housed more within the impressive growls of Ellis and the cleans of O'Rourke remain absent; an effective decision which enables further track distinction.

This is an album tailor made by more than able musicians for an audience hungry for melodic death/doom. While it offers a talented performance and the songwriting is strong such strength does not necessitate an ultimately engaging experience and its replay value will likely wane given time. The lack of a creative flair to liven the well conceived melodies may minimise its appeal in general, yet makes it a consistent listening experience for those going into it knowing what to expect.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 7


Band profile: Daylight Dies
Album: A Frail Becoming


 



Written on 31.12.2012 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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Susan - 01.01.2013 at 00:06  
Hmm, I do still want to try this. I saw them live several years ago and they were QUITE good! Not showy or anything, just solid. Sounds like this album; not perfect yet solid?
Boxcar Willy - 01.01.2013 at 00:08  
Yeah, I quited liked this. I'd give it a half point more. Agree about it being pretty standard though.
Ace Frawley - 01.01.2013 at 01:30  
Gonna give this album a listen myself - see what I think. I've never heard anything by this band before, so I come to it without any expectations or prior knowledge of their music.
Dentura - 01.01.2013 at 04:14  
The only other album i've heard from them is Dismantling Devotion (which was really good). I thought this was a damn solid melodic death/doom release, it made it to #16 on my personal Top 20 list for 2012.
Merchant of Doom - 01.01.2013 at 17:40  
It's an 8 for me...
Don_Doom - 02.01.2013 at 05:56  
I think is better a 8.5, they´re good, but I need to listen to them more
R'Vannith - 02.01.2013 at 12:27  
Written by Susan on 01.01.2013 at 00:06

Not showy or anything, just solid.


I think that's the problem, it just doesn't stand out for me but it sounds competently made.
Ace Frawley - 02.01.2013 at 21:54  
After a few listens I feel similar to others in that nothing really stands out. The review is excellently written and captures my views on the album as well. I like it and will probably give it a rating of 7 out of 10 (good) but perhaps it will grow on me and that possibly might nudge up to an 8 (very good). I generally only give that rating to albums that really grab my attention and that I really enjoy. I like the sound of the drums and the guitars on the album. The vocals are okay. Glad I got it though.

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