As Light Dies: The Love Album – Volume 1

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As Light Dies: The Love Album – Volume 1
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As Light Dies: The Live Album - Volume I
Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Gothic Metal
Maa Productions
October 17th, 2014
Release length: 34:51
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When it comes to bands from Spain, depending on the genre, there’s always a high expectation of emotion expected from them. So when you happen upon a band with an artsy name like As Light Dies who plays a mix of Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, and Gothic Metal, there’s an immediate anticipation of something high quality here. The group formed back in 1999, but didn’t release their first demo until 2004’s 3 Views of an End: A Trip to Nowhere. Their Gea single followed in 2006, and since 2007’s full-length debut A Step Through the Reflection have been in full-on album mode. 2010 was met with their second, titled Ars Subtilior from Within the Cage, and for 2014 we are given The Love Album – Volume I. But does this release live up to the automatic anticipations their geological lineage and past albums present, or is this just a major step backwards for this multi-styled five-piece?

One of the main elements of the band’s lyrical concept is depression, which is something that can be easly felt throughout the compositions, but in more of a romantic manner. Every main song on The Love Album – Volume I has an introductory symphonic piece that sets the tone for what is soon to follow. “We are All Destined for Grief” is an eerie piece, using an audio sample of a woman being told how humanity is terrible by a man who claims to be nature and wants to hurt her. This film snippet is met with a gloomy Melodic Black Metal performance with some eerie hooks at times, such as around ninety seconds in, that sound more like it was taken from a Horror Punk album. There are some aptly fitting hooks that work with a depressing mood, screaming the Spanish roots of the group, though it is limited to some bridges before more Folk Metal oriented material kicks in around two minutes. This comes into play a lot more often than anything else, especially towards the end where it starts to feel like a bard is singing along with the still rather dark performance you could equal to the likes of Falconer. This is honestly one of the points the band excels at, unlike the random technical Groove Metal passage that hits between it for what sounds, and even feels, like no reason other than variety.

“Blow of Loss” continues the samples, a melancholic performance that establishes the title’s meaning well enough. The shift into “Together As One” is a simple fade, introducing some moving violins against a bulkier guitar performance and some background Electronica that presents a Depressing Black Metal environment with growling vocals. The majority of the song, however, is more like “March of Mephisto” by Kamelot right down to the toned down clean singing and similar subtle emotion behind it. While not like the aforementioned band, “Your Wake” puts a steady focus on the initial style that started off “Together As One”. It isn’t the most awe-inspiring, but it shows the band’s power when it stays consistent, though “When Distance Becomes Real” as an introduction does little to set it up or grab the listener. About half way through there is a break that goes into more Post-Rock territory and, for what it is, isn’t a bad contribution. But, like the Technical Groove Metal passage in “Orpheus Mourning”, it is really unnecessary, making it and the following expansion of it seem like nothing more than filler that gets fairly old pretty quick.

The final introduction is “No Pain at Sleep”, which hits hard with a moving score behind echoed discussions of a woman with a young girl having a sad discussion before “Nemesis” breaks the formula presented throughout. The crushing atmospheres are set up more like a dystopian Industrial piece, all the while audio samples establish the running theme of love. It takes a good ninety seconds before some aggressive Black Metal kicks in with electronic effects and whispered words that play up a paranoia angle. It’s an eccentric piece that moves from hopelessly burdening to contemplative and euphoric by about four minutes in. By the end, you can’t help but feel the structuring is set up to go through various cycles of depression or heartbreak while contemplating that very permanent cure to it, leading to the literal non-suicidal final stage that is appropriately named “Acceptance”, a superb conclusion to the mood swing that was “Nemesis”.

The Love Album – Volume I isn’t so much a bad album, as it is an overcrowded one. A lot of the shifts within the songs are fairly sudden, and sometimes to a genre that doesn’t need to exist, or just seems to act like padding to keep the song pretty lengthy. If the band were to stay consistent, like the first three-and-a-half minutes of “Your Wake”, this would be a strong album that would only be faulted by needing an audio quality a little thicker to convey the emotions captured in the studio properly. The Love Album – Volume 1 is fairly surprising the first time around, but even by the second it starts to get to redundant and boring, making you yearn for shorter tracks and far, far less diversity than what exists. If you’re looking for something creative, The Love Album – Volume I by As Light Dies would hold your interest for a spin or two, but after that leave you wishing for better execution as you randomly pick at it from time to time.


01. We Are All Destined for Grief – 1:54
02. Orpheus Mourning – 7:54
03. Blow of Loss – 0:36
04. Together As One – 6:25
05. When Distance Becomes Real – 1:19
06. Your Wake – 7:31
07. No Pain At Sleep – 1:04
08. Nemesis – 6:55
09. Acceptance – 1:14
Initial Pressing Score: 5/10

As Light Dies
As Light Dies

Digital review copy of this release provided by Maa Productions
via Viral Propaganda PR.