As one of the few American bands able to make a dent in the traditionally European-dominated realm of melodic/gothic death/doom, Daylight Dies have obviously never had the easy road to fame and fortune paved before them, but that couldn't stop the Asheville, North Carolina-based group from delivering a pair of world-class albums in 2006's Dismantling Devotion and 2008's Lost to the Living. At the same time, one would hardly have begrudged them from entertaining a change of direction that might improve their commercial prospects stateside at this stage of their career, and some speculation to that effect indeed began to circulate as the years mounted prior to Daylight Dies' fourth full-length release, A Frail Becoming, which finally saw the (dying) light of day in 2012. Much to their followers' delight, however, the album's familiarly heavy, melancholy, brutal, and sublime contents -- balanced and contrasted in thrilling measures, as usual -- merely confirmed that any delays were brought on, not by creative self-doubt, but the search for excellence. Indeed, while it's far too early to tell where impressive new tracks like spectacular first single "Dreaming of Breathing," energized brow-beater "The Pale Approach," and all-encompassing leviathan "An Heir to Emptiness" will ultimately rank amidst Daylight Dies' body of work, there's also no disputing the almost unprecedented songcraft perfectionism they display. Even the softer melodic vocals that test the waters of broader accessibility on "Sunset," "A Final Vestige," and others are carried off without incident, proving positively triumphant, in fact, where countless giants of this genre have occasionally stumbled or outright face-planted in disgrace (e.g., My Dying Bride, Katatonia, etc.). In the process, Daylight Dies reassert their mastery over the conflicting emotions so crucial to the melo-goth-death-doom template, delivering music on par with any global-spanning competitor, and arguably beyond anything accomplished before in America. Yes, A Frail Becoming is that good!
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia