Daylight Dies's fourth full length, A Frail Becoming, is available on Candlelight's Bandcamp. I've seen this album popping up on some best of 2012 lists, and the recognition is well deserved.
Daylight Dies plays music that falls somewhere between melodic death metal and doom. They strike a very good balance between tempos that are slow but not glacial, and song lengths that are long enough to create an atmosphere but not so epic that the narrative thread gets completely lost. The vocals are a mix of harsh and clean. The harsh vocals are a bit more distinctive, but the clean vocals are an integral part of the songs they appear in, rather than being thrown in for variety's sake. Nathan Ellis's growls are gritty and full-throated, but they're also surprisingly clear and understandable. I certainly don't mind unintelligible vocals--I listen to way too much black metal to be picky about that--but Ellis's vocals are a very nice change from the norm. In fact, this album is probably tied with Lord Mantis's Pervertor for having my favorite harsh vocals of the year. Bassist Egan O'Rourke handles the clean vocals, and he manages to convey a lot of emotion and expression without sounding melodramatic. At times, O'Rourke reminds me of Jerry Cantrell more than any clean metal vocalist I can think of. I've read reviews that claim the harsh vocals are the only thing that keep Daylight Dies from slipping out of metal and being a more alt-rock band like Alice in Chains, but this hardly seems like a useful criticism unless you need your br00tal meter firmly set at 10 at all times.
I'll go one step further to say that this is one of the catchiest metal albums I've listened to this year. The compositions are tight and memorable, and the band favors clear melodic lines over blazes of technicality. I sing along with this album in my car, and let's face it: Most extreme metal makes that very difficult, unless you're already a metal vocalist yourself or don't mind coughing out your own tongue. Metal pushes a lot of boundaries, and as fans, we're clearly all drawn to that, but there's nothing wrong with an album that you can holler along with, and A Frail Becoming is an excellent example.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]