Daylight Dies: A Frail Becoming

Southern US doomsters leave a dark, bitter aftertaste

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Always regarded as one of the more interesting doom-related bands, this time around Daylight Dies have gone for a sound that emphasises the gloomier aspects of their approach. The musical tone is harsher and more sparse than was the case on the last album, 2008’s Lost To The Living.

There are still the inevitable melancholic moments – as on Hold On To Nothing – but a lot of the tracks have an almost bitter edge. Actually, this suits the band, with The Pale Approach and Sunset being particularly effective, as the harsh vocals of Nathan Ellis really make an impact.

The best of Daylight Dies comes through at the end of the album. The ominously sedate instrumental Water’s Edge leads into An Heir To Emptiness, a towering epic of dark, brooding musicianship and primal vocals. It’s here that the guitars of Barre Gambling and Charley Shackelford make their finest impact, as the sound sends shivers down the spine. It’s a progressive metal masterstroke that builds to a menacingly eerie climax. A Frail Becoming is arguably the band’s best album.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021