Daze Of June

Heart Of Silver

Written by: AP on 14/08/2018 21:49:25

Oh, metalcore — that subgenre of metal everyone loves to hate, but nearly everyone secretly loves — how difficult life has been for you in Denmark! The number of artists practicing in the genre here is likely countable with one hand, with the general sentiment dictating that only the most classic subforms of metal should be able to thrive: black, death, heavy and thrash. Nothing else is ‘real’ or ‘true’ enough, yet bizarrely, people still flock to Parkway Drive shows and raise their horns at bands like the ultra-divisive Five Finger Death Punch when the opportunity arises. Recognising this latent affinity for things that are actually catchy and have a mainstream sheen to them, a handful of acts have broken through the barrier recently and gotten something of a scene going, paving the way for a new generation of Danish metal bands of which the Roskilde-born Daze of June is also a part to emerge. Earlier this year, the quartet issued its début album in the shape of “Heart of Silver”, and has steadily built up a reputation as one of the standout artists in that scene ever since. And on the basis of the record at least, there seems to be something to the hype.

Daze of June is not out to revolutionise the genre, utilising a fairly standard formula of groove laden riffs and harsh vocals in the verses, juxtaposed with big chords and clean singing in the choruses. In terms of periodicity, the group’s take on the genre is quite modern, though not so modern as to verge on nu-metal or incorporate elements of R&B; with a meticulously polished production mix (as it tends to be on records processed by Prime Collective) and a soundscape garnished with plenty of electronic effects and samples. The outcome is a streamlined collection of songs in which very little is left up to chance, which is both a blessing and curse, as it turns out. Indeed, the best way to describe “Heart of Silver” is, rather tritely, as a box of chocolate confectionary; all of the bites have enough flavour to keep you coming back, but you will always go for a select few first. Incidentally, these are the three singles, “June”, “The Current” and “It Stays”, all of which have already passed come the sixth track in a calculated approach of front-loading so as to capture and make an impact on even the shortest of attention spans. To add extra weight to that argument: the opening track, “Two Suns”, also belongs to the standout selection.

What all of those four songs have in common is that they place the emphasis on the vocal melodies of frontman Benjamin Ganzhorn. His penchant for the bittersweet and the uplifting, not to mention the sheer emotive power of his voice are assets that the band must continue to cultivate, especially now that the metalcore climate seems to be favouring mass sing-songs over breakdowns and ultra-technical staccato riffs. And as it happens, one of the aspects where Daze of June actually seeks a differential is in their more straightforward and melodic take on the genre, even venturing into post-hardcore at times — most notably on the aforementioned “June” and “Current”, the latter of which features soulful guest vocals thanks to an excellent cameo by Siamese’s Mirza Radonjica-Bang. So while there are slabs of heaviness to be savoured in the likes of “Two Suns” and especially “Nibiru”, “Heart of Silver” is, in fact, one of the lightest metalcore albums ever to have found its way into my earphones, throwing plenty of references to artists such as Bury Tomorrow and Killswitch Engage yet almost always sounding like a more melodic, poppier version of them.

Some of the more hardened connoisseurs of metalcore are likely to find Daze of June’s invitation for the mainstream to come get ‘em off-putting of course, but those are the same voices that continue to hinder the genre from developing a foothold in Denmark. The good news is that nobody actually cares, and lots of other artists are beginning to follow suit. “Heart of Silver” may not be the most breathtaking release to come out of the Danish metal scene in recent years, turning out to be a little too homogenous across its ten tracks for my liking, but it is an important milestone in terms of said scene freeing itself from the chains of elitism and truism. And the fact that most of it is stupendously catchy is an achievement in itself; it pays tribute to artists who are unafraid to create music people want to sing, not just mosh and headbang along to.

7

Download: Two Suns, June, The Current, It Stays
For the fans of: Bury Tomorrow, Times of Grace, Wovenwar
Listen: Facebook

Release date 23.03.2018
Prime Collective

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