Buy Album: https://dyatlovesounds.bandcamp.com/album/dyatlove
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/dyatlovesounds
Sam Caviglia – Vocals & guitar
Rikki Jennings-Buford – Guitar
Rob Sheldrick – Drums
Justin Lacey – Bass
1. Pass The Heavens
2. Empty Lungs
3. Fragile Fixation
4. Old Haunts
5. Die! Kill! Pig!
As time goes by, it is getting increasingly more difficult to pin bands to any one genre, and we must definitely thank the internet for that dissolution of classification. Much as bands like to think that what they create are pieces of utter eye-weeping uniquity, it is an awful lot of fun to pigeonhole those who are particularly keen to be singled out. We all remember that classic keyboard warrior meme professing “don’t call it metal, it’s technical progressive post-metalcore” (hahaha, funny memes are funny). Yet, regardless of this, it is certainly an interesting mix that can be found with DYATLOVE and their self-titled debut EP.
To be clear, the above isn’t to say that our subjects today are keen to profess their uniqueness – they have made no suggestions otherwise – but their influences certainly run the gamut of the harsh and caustic, but also the beautiful. The accompanying presser lists celebrated blackgazers DEAFHEAVEN alongside hardcore bruisers CONVERGE, with the majestic ALCEST, alongside others, bringing the beautiful post-rock vibes. The Canadians’ core sound leans more towards their Salem, Massachusetts hardcore brethren, but the emotive nature from Neige’s main project permeates throughout, which creates a sumptuously heavy offering.
Returning to an earlier debate (if you have read these thinly-veiled rants and rambles passed off as “reviews”), the combination of aural heft, clean production and emotional depth creates the perfect blend for heaviness, and is something plenty of bands miss the trick on. One or two are often missed, by DYATLOVE have all three in spades. From the opening strains of “Pass The Heavens”, the flowing, shimmering and melancholic clean passage gives way to a raucous finale that just pours out emotion. And that’s done largely without vocals – a feat that is not easily achieved without the cathartic focal point that vocals usually offer.
The sludge influence is clearly felt on follow-up track “Empty Lungs”, breathing into life with low, slow, thundering guitar chords and throaty yells, but it is on lead single “Fragile Fixation” where the band finds their stride. The overall affair drips with emotive power that is ably backed by simple, yet chunky riffs and simple, yet carefully-worked guitar leads. The towering vocal performance of Sam Caviglia is the stand-out moment, however, with mournful cleans that could not be more wistful if a black and white filter was placed over them. These sit alongside his vicious yells that are ripped right from the heart – no easy task in the cold environment of a vocal booth, but he somehow nails it.
“Old Haunts” is the sprawling epic that serves as the penultimate purge to the EP, and springs the surprise of a trumpet that noodles around during the track’s cleaner climax – hey, if a saxophone is good for the likes of RIVERS OF NIHIL, then a trumpet’s good enough for DYATLOVE. It’s an oddly welcome addition that brings an added levity to proceedings and cuts straight through the din. Why more bands haven’t caught onto the idea of using the more piercing qualities of brass instruments to add an extra element to their albums is anyone’s guess… Beyond that, there is further scope for the contrast in calm and aggression here, that accentuates the differences with aplomb, before closer “Die! Kill! Pig!” simply busts the door in and wails on whoever is in there. It’s both a welcome change from the largely ponderous nature that is found on the rest of the EP, and a bit of an oddity that all the “I will break your face” attitude is left until the last. Perhaps a rearranging of the track order might help accommodate it better, but then again, it is a bonus track, so…
In an odd way, DYATLOVE’s debut EP may not be entirely right for fans of those aforementioned bands as they don’t necessarily offer enough of what each band is celebrated for. To clarify, it is not all blackgaze, or all hardcore or all post-rock (yes, fine, post-black metal), but rather a balanced mix off all three with a base in hardcore. It is, at times, a little stolid which may put off those looking for an immediate smash to the face, but once you allow yourself to be drawn in, it is quite the cathartic affair. There are many reasons which make up the “heavy” in heavy music, but DYATLOVE have picked up on several and melded them together for a bludgeoning and enthralling ride.