Released: 1st February 2014
Buy Album [URL]: http://www.noiseheadrecords.com/1/index.php/shop#!/~/product/id=33034436
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/daysofloss
Ben Pauswek – Vocals
Alexander Schmid – Lead Guitar (Mastic Scum)
Ken Straetman – Rhythm Guitar (ex-Manic Movement)
Wolf Labmayer – Bass
Max Fingernagel – Drums
1. Prelude (02:04)
2. Through Empty Eyes (04:05)
3. This Frail Existence (04:48)
4. Await Pain (03:49)
5. Endtime (05:28)
6. Catharsis (03:54)
7. Wearing The Ashcrown (04:32)
8. Corpsemourn (03:36)
9. Circle’s End (03:28)
10. Thanatology (04:30)
This is the fourth album by Days of Loss, their first was back in 2001 and there seems to be a huge gap between albums. This is their first offering through Noiseheadrecords. The band are from Vienna which immediately makes me want to hate them, as I would seriously love to go to Vienna and they get to live there, lucky sods.
First off, this album is a very traditional metal album, it does not push the creative boundaries but plays it safe, nothing wrong with that, and a lot of metal fans like it that way. Songs are sensible lengths, nothing too long, and there is generally nothing wrong with the playing, although I did wish the drummer would be a little more daring and not use the typical machine gun style so much.
I also did think for a ‘Thrash’ album it was a little slow paced, I am used to ‘Thrash’ having a lot more speed and energy. Veering off at a tangent from the music for a moment, I did discover that the band were a four piece when this was recorded but have since expanded to a five piece to allow the vocalist to concentrate on being a front man. I also noted that their promo pictures are sadly the typical firing squad shots which I find annoying, there does not seem to be an official website, and I could not find them on Itunes.
Now to the music, the album begins with a pseudo-classical opener, ‘Prelude’. Reminiscent of a grand film score, it had a strange rumble underneath the guitar which was distracting for the first forty seconds and then disappeared. An instrumental piece, that was pleasant enough but in reality did not act as a prelude to the album, as nothing else had any similarity to this track. ‘Through Empty Eyes’, reveals what the band are about, growling vocals that still allow you to hear the lyrics and machine gun drumming. The vocals make the album quite listenable, and although they don’t vary much they are done well. I wish the drummer would challenge himself a bit more though.
Title Track ‘This Frail Existence’ includes a section of spoken word, rather than growl and this is done very well, giving a different dimension to the track. ‘Await Pain’ is where I thought there was another strange background noise, but then discovered it was my other half on his Xbox.
‘Endtime’ has a solid groove, and ‘Catharsis’ follows in the same sort of vein. ‘Wearing the Ashcrown’ returns to the spoken word style and this band do use this element intelligently, mixing it with the growling vocals. ‘Corpsemourn’ and ‘Circles End’ are solid, heavy tracks, but nothing stands out and the album as a whole sounds very similar, everything is one paced and tracks seem to be more of a continuation rather than individual, this has both good points and bad, as the whole album feels unified and more like segments of a whole rather than independent tracks, however that also means it lacks depth and variety.
Last track is ‘Thanatology’, which is the scientific study of death, and to be honest, that sums up the album perfectly. If you view the tracks as being part of a whole, and that whole being the study of death, you can really understand and appreciate the album, it becomes something else and its only when you hear it through to its completion that the cohesion suddenly makes sense.
Over all this is a good metal album, it doesn’t have crowd pleasing anthems or chart hits on it, but then Melodic Death-Thrash Metal is not meant to have either of those things, what it does have is a strong theme which it sticks to throughout. So get out the pentagrams and the black candles and settle down for a listen.