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The Living Fields : Running Out Of Daylight

The new album of The Living Fields is obviously a very ambitious one.

The new album of The Living Fields is here, and obviously it’s a very ambitious one. Their previous works made me a fan and I was certainly not the only one: both their demo/EP ’The Miseries Never Cease’ and their first self-titled album were positively received by most ‘zines and fans.

’Running Of Daylight’ starts with 'Remnant', a track inspired by R. Matheson’s novel I am Legend, and the song, just like the book’s main character, goes through continuous changes of moods: from despair to hope, from anger to fear, from defeat to acceptance and finally solace. Musically, this evolution is achieved by a continuous change and succession of dark, melodic, harsh, heavy, epic and semi symphonic parts and even an acoustic ending. It all goes together with a similar variety vocal-wise: from a clean, epic, wailing voice to demented black metal shrieks that are very Dani Filth’s alike.

A proof that J. Higgs’ vocals are an integral part of the way the band is writing its songs is also to be found in the next track: 'Perseverance'. Here the band shows a cyclothymic attitude as the song goes from harsh Doom/Death/Black to almost acoustic melodies that symbolise the doubt and the determination of the person that inspired the lyrics: Sir E. Hillary, the first man that climbed the Everest and came back alive.

History seems to be of great interest for the band as again the next song 'From Miseries to Blood-Drenched Fields' is based on a historic period that marked, and for some, scarred the American society until today: the fleeing of thousands North European immigrants to America, mostly Irish, to escape famine, only to find themselves in the middle of the Civil War. Musically, the song was written for, but not included in, the previous album, so the sound is a little less complex and more aggressive, epic and dynamic, with some great guitar parts.

The album continues with a surprise: the Skyclad-ish 'When The Walls Go Up'. Actually, I don’t know how big are the British folk metallers to the American audiences, but the song feels like coming straight from the sessions of the ’Outrageous Fourtunes’ EP. I loved this song.

The music goes back to a more traditional Doom/Death path with 'Bitterness', dark and doomy with some acoustic parts; it owes its inspiration to the 'Peaceville Three', mostly to My Dying Bride and less to Paradise Lost and Anathema. I don’t know if this is the best song of the album, but it healed a lot of the trauma the latest My Dying Bride release caused to me.

With the next song, I admit that the lyrical inspirations of Doom bands never cease to surprise me, as the title 'Glacial Movement' says it all. Musically here they once again drift away from common Doom canvas and enter a more progressive Metal field, while keeping their natural darkness and aggression, giving the song a Fates Warning aura.

'Intermissione' is a recording of crickets and other night creatures that lead us to 'Running Out Of Daylight', a track inspired by one of the most intriguing historical figures among Metal fans: Galileo (the other of course is Nostradamus). The song lasts for 17 minutes; fans of traditional Epic Doom will have then the opportunity to listen to one of the best songs of the year, and especially for the fans of While Heaven Wept it will be some kind of a revelation.

As a whole, I think that we have here some of the best compositions written by The Living Fields, but also songs that many well-established bands would love to have in their catalogue. And that lead us to what I see as a problem: the album sounds like a best-of and not like a normal album. That is due to the tracks sounding very different from one another and sharing very little common characteristics. It might become confusing and even annoying for some listeners. So, before spending your money, I advise you to try and listen to some samples.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Remnant
2. Perseverance
3. From Miseries to Blood-Drenched Fields
4. When the Walls Go Up
5. Bitterness
6. Glacial Movements
7. Intermissione
8. Running Out of Daylight

Duration : Approx. 62 minutes

Visit the The Living Fields bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-08-30 by Dimitris Plastiras
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