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LIVING FIELDS, THE



THE LIVING FIELDS


"Running Out of Daylight"

By Earthdog



Now this is interesting! This album was brought to my attention as a "doom" album but to be honest I don't know what genre this fits in. It is doomy, it's post-rock, it's progressive, it is folk-rock, it's symphonic and it's very metallic at times so it is a baffling album to describe but that is also their strength as it is rare to hear a band that so varied in their style. Hell, this album even has elements of black metal and even old-school power metal so where the hell do I start with this review? I think rather than doing a track by track review, maybe I should attempt to describe what this band does during the course of their songs.

Each song is built around different moods, tempos and movements; each changing the song dramatically while somehow trying to keep it seamless. There are mellow, gentle sections that give way to heavy doom segments and an array of instruments are used including violin, cello, piano and acoustics. Style-wise they also are not set in any era, while the bulk of it sounds modern, there are also throwbacks to early 70's music. One section in a track called "Perseverance" sounds like the much underrated Texas band Bloodrock but reference points like this one are very rare indeed. The Living Fields are simply one of the most unique bands on the planet. The band are certainly accomplished songwriters and players but at times, the mish-mash of ideas gets a bit much to handle. Album opener 'Remnant' has a Cirith Ungol kind of feel at first but that too shifts into a kind of symphonic black-metal vibe before switching gears once again and turning the track into a mutated version of power-metal. It makes the album interesting but it also makes it hard for the listener to get settled into any one mood.

'From Miseries to Blood' has goth-doom segments but blends that with old-school metal with high-pitched vocals, the kind that I haven't heard since the days of bands such as Hirax. There are somber moments on the album too as in one track, 'Bitterness' but generally speaking this album is all over the place and never gets settled in one direction or another and that sums up the entire album. Even though I have only mentioned a few tracks here, the whole album follows the same patterns. There are some elements on this album that I do find frustrating. For one, the 'heavy' sections are not 'heavy' enough as they watered down with strings and symphonic's. It is irritating as there is great riffage but you wouldn't know it most of the time. The high-pitched vocal doesn't mix well with the black-metal growls either and at times it sounds downright out-of-place within the structure of the songs. They also have a habit of building up the songs with dramatic atmospherics only to kill off all that momentum with some odd mood/tempo/style changes. The best song here, 'Glacial Movements' works the best because it is the track where they keep these issues most in-check and therefore, it flows better.

CONCLUSION; This is an interesting album with some truly mind-blowing passages within songs but it is hard to find a song that sounds truly awesome all the way through. It is almost like they are too unique for their own good. There is so much going on with this album but this album proves that is not always a good thing. 'Running Out of Daylight' has some truly great passages of music but the album as a whole piece of work lacks cohesion. However, I worship their creativity and imagination................6/10

www.candlelightrecordsusa.com

www.thelivingfields.com