When North Carolina’s Daylight Dies started as a project of Barre Gambling and Jesse Haff in 1996, little did they know the vehicle they created together would blossom into one of metal’s most promising upstarts.
Due to geographical constraints, Barre and Haff’s Daylight Dies were delayed three years before an initial rough compilation of raw ideas surfaced as The Long Forgotten demo. It wasn’t until a year later that the two core members would add a permanent vocalist in the form of Guthrie Iddings.
With a vocalist in place, the trio then proceeded to record a second demo in early 2000, Idle, which further illustrated the band’s musical and compositional growth. Idle created such an impact locally that Tribunal Records picked up the demo and repackaged it. The demo was lauded for its attention to detail, melody and atmosphere. For many, it filled the gap that no other Stateside act thus far could achieve.
A year after the recording and release of Idle, Egan O’Rourke was enlisted as the full-time bassist. As a quartet, the band quickly starting writing together and the first work to come out of the revamped line-up was a label-only two-song demo. The demo was shipped to various labels who had expressed interest early on. The strength of the music alone was enough to land Daylight Dies an offer from Relapse Records. In late 2001, Daylight Dies signed to the label. Once signed to Relapse, the quartet completed writing their debut full-length. Titled, No Reply, the album contained nine songs which displayed a steady progression and were more encompassing than Idle. No Reply captured a somewhat doomier and varied sound, improving on the band’s dark and catchy qualities. No Reply‘s physical and emotional weight was greater than most anticipated from such a fledgling band and received many rave reviews. Terrorizer magazine called it “memorable and engaging”, Outburn proclaimed it “pristine doom metal” and Digital Metal added “a combination of dark melody and deathly aggression.”
Daylight Dies embarked on numerous tours in support of No Reply upon its release. Touring Europe with Katatonia and the U.S. and Canada with Lacuna Coil – as well as numerous high profile festivals and one offs – the band proved they are an energetic live act and a force to be reckoned with in the international metal movement. Following touring for No Reply, Daylight Dies replaced vocalist Guthrie Iddings with Nathan Ellis. Charlie Shackelford also joined as a full-time second guitarist. Both earned the coveted positions on the strength of their abilities and impressive rehearsals with the band.
In August 2005 Daylight Dies finally entered the studio to record their second full length album, entitled Dismantling Devotion. The material was mixed and mastered in Sweden by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios and mastered by Thomas Eberger at The Cutting Room. Dismantling Devotion saw the band charting significant new territory from previous output. O’Rourke contributed several segments of clean vocals, an up-right bass is utilized in spots and acoustic, clean and heavy guitars often mixed for an extremely lush sound. The songs are as haunting, dark and dynamic as the band had yet created. “Dismantling Devotion is certainly the most mature material we’ve written to date”, Haff explained, “It’s a strong progression of our emotionally dark and desperate music, exceedingly rich in texture and details. Expect a diverse mix of music which is heavy, melodic and always melancholic.”
Daylight Dies signed to Candlelight Records in November, 2005. Dismantling Devotion was released in March of 2006 and the band filmed their first music video for the song “Lies that Bind” in June. It was later accepted for airplay on MTV and VH1. In 2006 Daylight Dies supported the new album with two high profile gigs and their first full North American tour. In July, the band were main support for Emperor during two capacity crowd reunion shows in New York City. For four weeks during October and November, Daylight Dies participated in a massive 11,000 mile North American tour together with Moonspell and Katatonia which covered the entire United States and numerous cities in Canada.
The band returned to the studio in December 2007 to record their third full-length album, Lost to the Living. Like Dismantling Devotion, the album was mixed by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios. With Lost to the Living, Daylight Dies have put forth the most mature and varied album of their career. The lush textures which were introduced with the previous album continue and are greatly expanded upon. Two songs consist of only O’Rourke on clean vocals. Acoustic and clean guitars ride alongside heavy rhythms more prevalently than previously creating a multi-layered sound saturated in atmosphere and depth. Acoustic strings and woodwinds are also found on several tracks adding to an rich, organic character. Haff commented, “Lost to the Living is a mix of beautiful melancholic leads and harsh dissonant rhythms; despair driven hooks and the overall dark atmosphere you’ve come to expect.”