Released: 2003, Spinefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
It´s simply amazing how some bands are able to develop and from one album to another. Finland´s mellow-sounding metallers Charon is one of those bands that could be counted to that category. The band has been taken giant steps musically from their Death Metal roots (the band´s debut album titled SORROWBURN, was released on now-defunct Emanzipation in 1998) to more a familiar Sentencedesque type of approach (TEARSTAINED, the band´s 2nd album and first for Spinefarm) to even similar Gothic Rock/Metal fields (DOWNHEARTED, released in Spinefarm in 2002) where f..ex. H.I.M. has been wandering forever since the day one.
Charon´s 4th full-length album in order, is yet again kind of a rather ´giant step´ away from the band´s last effort, only now having some stripped down reminders of those band influences of which I mentioned recently as far as their two previous albums, namely TEARSTAINED and DOWNHEARTED are concerned.
I actually could put my feelings about THE DYING DAYLIGHTS into words by so many different ways and say that this and that thing about the album by claiming they have made their strongest album thus far. In a way, they have as far as the album content is concerned ´coz I don´t recall when the guys could have recorded this many good songs for just one album? Now they have like 11 new songs on it and probably 2-3 songs are ´so-so´ tracks in here that I could have well lived without, too. The most important thing anyway is that they have topped themselves again as song writers if overall we can speak about a true ´ace´ quality of their new songs on THE DYING DAYLIGHTS. It sounds like they have really concentrating on digging up some of the catchiest and coolest melodies and choruses for this particular album, kind of trying on purpose to avoid sounding a bit mediocre anywhere, but really nailing their loaded heads and most creative thoughts into the song writing of THE DYING DAYLIGHTS this time more than ever before.
The guys has already proved to be like the true masters in the eternal fields of sorrowful and melancholic melodies that are meant to make you feel quite sad indeed. Really... I have no idea whether we Finns have some odd ingredients in our drinking water that bring sadness and some sort of a longing out of us, but Charon use their songs for that purpose by a very effective and catchy way indeed. Songs like “Failed”, “Death Can Dance”, “In Brief War”, “Guilt of Skin”, “Unbreak, Unchain” and “If” are some of real tear-droppers if some cheesy and sweet sentimentality is allowed to work out as a reference point for these songs in question. As for single personalities in Charon, the band´s charismatic vocalist J-P is without doubts a very strong force behind Charon´s powerful tendency to gather legions of mournful followers for the band´s always so highly melancholic and addictive Gothic Rock/Metal sound. What I also found kind of like “an extra bonus” on THE DYING DAYLIGHTS, Charon has hired Marco Hietala from Tarot to do some background vocals for some of their songs on this very melancholy-filled album. And he never fails when he opens his mouth; not this time either.
What else could be said about Charon that already has successfully imitated bands like Sentenced and H.I.M. earlier on their albums? Well, fortunately they don´t do it this time, but let´s just say that it´s pretty obvious indeed that the fans of those aforementioned two Finnish acts might wanna to check Charon´s latest output out as well. It´s surely a good deal for all the fans of a highly emotional and melodic Rock/Metal. THE DYING DAYLIGHTS will be one of the gems of its own genre within the next few months, I believe.