Dead to a Dying World – Litany

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Reviewed: May 2016
Released: 2015, Gilead Media
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

Dead to a Dying World describe their sound as “blackened apocalyptic doom”, but that’s a label that doesn’t nearly do justice to the actual music. Yes, there’s a touch of modern American black metal and lots of doom permeating beneath the soot, but that barely scratches the surface.

Hailing from the most melancholy of locales, Dallas Texas (insert your own joke here), Dead to a Dying World invoke moments of atmospheric doom, ambient chamber music, blackened shoegaze, and old school gothic metal sensibilities across their debut full length LITANY. It’s a crock pot of influences that in aggregate make for an exceptional end result. Think My Dying Bride if they hadn’t graduated as peers to Darkthrone, but rather as underclassmen in the same school.

LITANY is a subversively easy listen. From the opening strings of “The Hunt Eternal” to the closing chanting throes of “Narcissus”, there’s nary a moment of pause or distraction. Every note, every impasse is intentional – intended to illicit some kind of reaction from the listener. Sorrowful strings are matched against guttural expulsions and crushing guitars in a seemingly synchronous, unconsciously passive fashion. The anchor tracks all exceed the 14 minute mark and make sure to exploit all of the emotive capital that they can, but it’s easy to get caught up in the music an trust the band to take you on their journey. “Beneath the Loam” is arguably the signature track of LITANY, embodying all of the aforementioned qualities and then some across its expansive traverse. It’s a beautifully complicated piece of music that is easy to revisit, as is the entirety of the album.

Dead to a Dying World are taking the road less traveled on LITANY, but those diversions tend to make for the best memories. It’s a fantastic debut from a band you’ll want to hear more from. Whether your preferences lean black, doom, traditional or not, LITANY is an album worthy of your attention.


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Track Listing:
1. The Hunt Eternal
2. Cicatrix
3. Eventide
4. Beneath the Loam
5. Sick & Sunder
6. Narcissus

James Magruder – Bass, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Piano
Cyrus Meyers – Drums, Concert Bass, Orchestra Bells
Sean Mehl – Guitar, 12-String Acoustic Guitar
Gregg Prickett – Guitar
Eva Vonne – Viola
Mike Yeager – Vocals
Heidi Moore – Vocals