On Dreaming Is Sinking /// Waking Is Rising, Dayseeker tell the story of a man trapped in a coma, as he processes a divorce and the loss of his estranged mother. While concept records often add a layer of depth to music, this is not always the case on their Spinefarm Records debut.
The introductory spoken word piece "Dreaming Is Sinking" foreshadows how most of the album will unfold; it's overbearing and distracting. Theatrical style and key changes ("Hanging by a Thread") and shaky transitions (first single "Vultures") weigh down what could have been a great collection of metalcore songs.
Dayseeker know their strengths; groove-heavy riffs and soaring melodies, but they don't always know how to get there. Sometimes, they succeed — "Sleep in the Sea Pt. II" (featuring Garrett Russell of Silent Planet) is captivatingly heavy and "Come Hell or High Water" is a soulful take on recent Architects material — but a general lack of song structure and consistency weigh down other parts of the album.
Frontman Rory Rodriguez's clean vocal performance shines on "Cold, Dark Winter" and "Counterpart," emphasizing the potential that Dayseeker has if they continue to let their sweet spots shine. Here's hoping they do just that on future releases. (Spinefarm)