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Dialith - Extinction Six

Extinction Six
by Jack Lynch at 09 July 2019, 8:40 PM

Throughout planet Earth’s 4.5 billion years of life, there have been five mass extinctions, the worst of which – Permian - occurred 250 million years ago when 70% of all land, and 96% of marine species died off. Scientists now believe we are currently witnessing the sixth extinction – Holocene - which will ultimately end us all.  Now, I know talking science isn’t very entertaining, and I predict most of us won’t be around to see the real fireworks of the end of days, however thanks to Symphonic Metal band DIALITH, we get of taste of that inevitable chaos with their debut album "Extinction Six". If Earth’s next ecological disaster, and the battles that ensue are as epic as some of the tracks on this album, I’d say you better ready your war horse. I recommend that even knowing there are a few fights you’ll want to sit out.

Drawing inspiration from fantasy driven Symphonic Metal bands such as KAMELOT and ARCH ENEMY, DIALITH’s sound is theatrical, and unapologetically grand in its scope. The vocals of lead singer Krista Sion are operatic and showcase some nice range, hitting high peaks that for better or worse stay in the clouds throughout every song. You won’t find any deepening growls or grunts on this album but that’s not to say it is not heavy. Rest assured, the guitars are furious, and drums crash and gallop with plenty of double base pedal. Much of the music is backed with an abundance of orchestral strings interwoven rather nicely around rapid arpeggios and catchy guitar solos.

This is no more prevalent than with the track "Quiver of Deception", a magnum opus in which every asset of the band gets a turn in the spotlight. Overall there’s great composition, some memorable vocal arraignments, room for Mark Grey’s bass to breathe, elegant use of strings, and some gravity defying guitar solos. Varying degrees of speed complement each movement and the song achieves the coveted “feeling” of epic, not just the descriptor. Other songs on album punch with just as much force, "The Sound of Your Voice", "Where Fire Dwells", "Libra", "Catalyst" and the 13-minute title track "Extinction Six" are packed with similar dynamics, though they never fully reach "Deception"’s bliss.

Now for the bad. Much of the album does a great job of balancing Sion’s soft vocal melodies with the frantic pacing of Alasdair Wallace Mackie’s guitars and Cullen Mitchel drums. However, tracks such as "Break The Chains" and "The Wraith" struggle to juggle the two forces harmoniously and the result fails to get off the ground. The lyrics don’t always flow and at times you’ll feel there’s some stretching going on to make a word or sentence work. And while the subtlety of "The Rivers Run Dry" slows things down with good intentions the song dragged on me and I had to move on.

Still, what DIALITH has constructed with "Extinction Six" could very well be a breakout album for the band. Sure, there are few songs you could take or leave, and some listeners of heavier styles of metal may not be drawn to the vocals, but as stated the musicianship and song composition cannot be denied. In terms of its scope and vision the album is a success. The amount time and effort the band took with this album shines through to the surface. For fans who like their metal scripted like a folklore battle and sung to them by the voice of an angel look no further than this album. As for others, at least stop by and try out the "Quiver of Deception", then decide whether you want to take the plunge.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Emergence (Intro)
2. The Sound of Your Voice
3. Where Fire Dwells
4. Libra
5. Break the Chains
6. Quiver of Deception
7. The River Runs Dry
8. In Every Breath
9. Catalyst
10. The Wraith
11. Extinction Six
Krista Sion – Vocals
Alasdair Wallace Mackie – Guitar
Mark Grey – Bass
Charles Woodruff – Keyboards
Cullen Mitchell - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 16 October 2019

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