Daze Of June

Tainted Blood

Written by: PP on 17/02/2021 18:14:43

On a release with so few flaws to point out, why does Daze Of June sound so...anonymous? The answer is not that complicated, actually, but before we get ahead of ourselves let's do a quick summary. Daze Of Blood entered the Danish metalcore scene back in 2018 with "Heart Of Silver", a modern-flavoured, streamlined metalcore record that made them a local favorite right away in a scene that hasn't really produced too many noteworthy records over the years in the genre. They then toured with Siamese and Dead Letter Circus and played a few concerts of their own as well, further honing their expression through experience. And so here we are on sophomore album "Tainted Blood", an altogether decent record that ticks just about all available metalcore checkboxes but fails to stand out.

And here's why. Though professionally produced and integrating djenty guitars, ambient atmospherics, synths, clean/scream dynamics, breakdowns, and more, "Tainted Blood" lacks in one key department: songwriting. It's sufficiently guided by the producer and/or Prime Collective songwriters that songs like "Nyx" and "Son" are enjoyable listens, with catchy clean choruses contrasted by throaty screams at just the right moments, but it also means it stays overtly faithful to a crowded genre playbook where only innovation survives. Formulaic songs are lifted from mediocrity through quality guitar licks and sensible vocals, not least a crisp, crystal clear production, but they never breach the barrier into the segment where the true metalcore royalty stands pat.

Thinking back about what made recent releases by Architects, While She Sleeps, or even Bury Tomorrow so brilliant (as these three bands are the main sonic inspiration for Daze Of June's expression) was that they all dared to twist the tired genre into a slightly different direction and made it their own. Here, Daze Of June sounds more like they are parroting established facts and existing talking points, stylistically speaking. It's a safe approach, as songs like "Black-Eyed" and "New Beginnings" are enjoyable, even catchy in places that will rarely draw any negative comments on YouTube videos or even bad press. Nor should they, for the songwriting here, is good enough. There isn't a song here that I would necessarily cut out from the record, but ultimately, "Tainted Blood" sounds regrettably derivative, like a standard fare metalcore release the kind of which we get once a week year in, year out.

This argument's perhaps best evidence is on "Hypnos", the album highlight that is made so primarily thanks to Spiritbox / Iwrestledabearonce singer Courtney LaPlante's passages that immediately leave the rest of the record in its shadow. Basically, what the song says is that if LaPlante was working together with the trio for the full album, we'd have an excellent record on our hands, because her contribution is just that much more charismatic and memorable than the remainder of the efforts on the record. Again, I must stress, it's not that the rest of the record is bad; it just needs better songs to stand out from the grey mass of metalcore bands out there.


Download: Son, Hypnos, Nyx
For the fans of: Bury Tomorrow, Architects, Like Moths to Flames
Listen: Facebook

Release date 19.02.2021
Prime Collective

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