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Dead to a Dying World - Elegy Award winner

Dead to a Dying World
by Chris Hawkins at 24 April 2019, 8:16 PM

Sometimes, we become trapped amidst the comfort zone that we wrap ourselves in with regard to the art that we consume and/or create.  As humans, though, who I’d like to think have souls, we have the ability to transcend the redundant.  Challenging oneself with fresh ideas is ultimately rewarding.  This is so true when it comes to DEAD IN A DYING WORLD.  This seven-piece from Dallas, Texas has an enormously cerebral mix of transitions, contrasts, and myriad atmospheric epics.

Beginning with “Syzygy,” a lengthy intro of spoken word/sung vocals in the vein of Leonard Cohen and a gorgeously-performed, crystal clean, haunting guitar part.  It exists as an intoxicating call to worship with the chorus of vocals harmonizing along with the ever-steady thrum of the viola sounding like a constant hacking.  It is just the beginning, though, of a long, varied, and vivid ride.

The following track, “The Seer’s Embrace,” is where one is properly indoctrinated into the band’s sound.  Having the extra instrumentation along with two vocalists yields prosperous rewards as ideas multiply through the smoky haze of melody.  The band’s Doom side is adequately explored, and for those who have more than a passing or recent love of the genre, it hits on some areas that will ring true.  This is evidenced by how the band pays respect to 90s bands like ANATHEMA’s plaintive exploration of loss, MINDROT’s enchanting songwriting via revolutionary combinations of riffs/changes, and the emperor, NEUROSIS and its use of all of the above through an opiate-induced glare of intensity.  The use of Black Metal vocals in the intense sections was a prelude of more deviancy to come.

This is a band that sounds very defined in terms of the tones captured during this recording for the guitars specifically are gargantuan, larger than life.  The clean parts are in no way any less entertaining either.  The use of plentiful, copious amounts of reverb gives the notes that studio-executed lift into the stratosphere of the song hanging like a thundercloud overhead.  Expansive bass, expressive percussion, and the most enchanting orchestral strings by the viola, think classic MY DYING BRIDE, all equate to a profound contribution to the instrumental outcome, intended.  With the mix of both clean and nasty vocals, male and female, the band’s ethos is certainly to go big as there is so simply so much to offer.

Perhaps everyone has a unique mix of artists that speak to them spiritually, but some also should be universally decreed.  I speak of folks like PRIMORDIAL, DANZIG, and ACID BATH, each with its own soulful honest atmosphere.  DEAD TO A DYING WORLD have made a no-less epically stunning example of mind-altering music for music lovers.  With “Elegy,” the band evidently has been endowed with a unique muse to influence perspective.

Of Moss and Stone” is the almost-fifteen-minute climax of the album.  The Black Metal riff used around the 4:20 mark is laceratingly exotic and lethal.  Having the true, pure sound of the viola to reinforce the idea not only beefs things up but beautifies exquisitely as well.  During the tribal section, I could not help but think of moments off ANATHEMA’s “The Silent Enigma” and NEUROSIS’ “A Sun That Never Sets”.  This is not meant to suggest that the band is not original as this is more of a feeling comparison than a xeroxed/copied page.  With “Elegy,” this band has released my favorite album thus far this year because of its mesmerizing, expansive, symphonic exploration of the quintessential musical trip.  if only more bands wrote from the heart like this.

Songwriting:  9
Originality:  10
Memorability:  10
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

1. Syzygy
2. The Seer’s Embrace
3. Vernal Equinox
4. Empty Hands, Hollow Hymns
5. Hewn from Falling Water
6. Of Moss and Stone

Josh Dawkins -Drums
Sean Mehl - Guitar
Eva Vonne - Viola
Mike Yeager – Vocals
Heidi Moore – Vocals
James Magruder – Guitar
John Schiller – Bass

Record Label: Profound Lore Records


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