Daylight Dies Lost to the Living

Daylight Dies Lost to the Living
Foreboding and reassuring, complex without unnecessary complication, Lost to the Living is easily recognisable as Daylight Dies, building on the dark and depressive eloquence established on two earlier albums and a long out-of-print EP. Lost to the Living also broadens the band’s vocabulary, layering and interweaving an even larger accumulation of experience and inspiration against a gloomy metal base. Barre Gambling’s lead guitar emerges as the album’s dominant voice, despite the gruff reverberation of Nathan Ellis’s growls (and the clean vocal tones of bassist Egan O’Rourke throughout two tracks). But as you’d expect from Daylight Dies, even their six-string wizardry is held in check, a counterpoint to a rhythm section that always hints at power restrained, subdued but ever-ready violence. The space created by this restraint is filled with potential, pervading even the visual imagery containing such spacious sounds. The record is slow, contemplative but vibrant with energy. Each song contrasts comfortable melodies against dissonant harmonies, smooth textures (including string and woodwind accompaniment) against edgy distortion, constantly moving toward a climax that never erupts. Deceptively heavy, Lost to the Living abounds in uncertainties, the self-assuredness of Daylight Dies never producing any easy answers.

Did you feel pressured to follow-up on Dismantling Devotion’s success?
Drummer Jesse Haff: We worked intensely and steadily on Lost to the Living after touring but we never felt rushed. Thankfully we didn’t have the problems we had between No Reply and Dismantling Devotion, such as member and label changes [adding Ellis and second guitarist Charlie Shackelford, switching from Relapse to Candlelight]. We’re all proud of Dismantling but we felt confident we could raise the bar and continue to push our music where we wanted. We’re very happy with the result.

"The Morning Light” exemplifies the album’s character. It also has a complementary stripped-down visual aesthetic. What’s the relationship?
"Less is more” is a mantra we always strive for and "The Morning Light” achieves that. It has an organic character and is probably one of the more simple songs on the album. Every note and chord change is important.

And the artwork?
I wanted something that stood out. Instead of the grunge or elaborate ornate look that many in metal are using now, we went the opposite direction. Layout is important to me, so each image corresponds to the song and the album as a whole. You can often say more with less. (Candlelight)