If you were to peel back the multitude of layers that serve as byproducts of human existence—all the cities, man-made lakes, mines and towering monoliths to technology and sophistication—you would find something natural. A beauty ten times more humbling and a million times more pure than any modern monstrosity of twisted steel and solid concrete. Music, in many ways, is the same. If you take the time to chisel through the frantic fretwork, tedious technicality and sporadic heaviness of 2015’s post-hardcore/metalcore mish-mash, you would find a pure and poetic beginning; Dayseeker’s Origin. Origin harkens back to the dawning of dynamic post-rock and punishing hardcore’s coitus and gives the listener pure, unabashed emotion, framed in equal parts energetic, aggressive heaviness and calm, serene atmosphere, appealing to the listener’s heart as much as their headbang.
While you may disagree upon your first listen, Dayseeker are more than bouncy drums wrapped in twinkly, occasionally-chugged grooves with a pretty voice and half-assed scream overtop. Origin is a complex creation spanning the entire range of human emotion—as things that the instrumentals omit, the vocals readily bring to the table. From the first second of “The Nail In Our Coffin,” the listener is exposed to the hurricane-like assault that is vocalist Rory Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a veritable enigma—as he has a deceptively marvelous and pure voice that is starkly contrasted by his fierce, immense roar. Where “The Nail In Our Coffin” favors his over-the-top aggression (with lyrics that are reminiscent of post-hardcore’s angst you, post-breakup roots), “A Cancer Uncontained” makes a prime example of his beautiful, crooning clean singing. Abrasive and angry one moment, and soothing with soaring singing the next, Rodriguez paints Dayseeker’s dynamic instrumentation with a pallet of precise, phenomenal emotion. He evokes anger and apathy in the listener with the album’s opening number just as readily as he inspires depression on “Origin” and unimaginable darkness and sadness on “Never See the Sun Rise.” If you have not yet heard Rodriguez’s riveting vocal performance, consider this your warning: there WILL be feels, and not many of them will be happy.
Rodriguez’s vocals are only as amazing as they are because they are bolstered by Dayseeker’s diverse and debonair musicianship. If you’re looking for variety, you’ve found it. Percussionist Mike Karle is bouncy one minute—like the closing groove to “A Cancer Uncontained,” or the sporadic bits of heaviness that dot “God Without A Face” or “Spotless Mind”—and jazzy, subtle and smooth the next (see the transition into “Lucid Dreamer”). Karle isn’t the only one with tricks up his sleeve, however: guitarists Alex Polk and Gino Sgambelluri follow the same ebb and flow of heaviness and harmony that Karle does. “The Nail in Our Coffin” is intense and dissonant—as is the climax to “The Burning of Bridges” and “A Cancer Uncontained.” However, much of the aforementioned track is clean and creative, showcasing Polk and Sgambelluri riffing and harmonizing marvelously. “Dead to the World – Alive In My Eyes” is another example, beginning with a few soft subtle seconds before the track kicks in with a touch of melodic hardcore that would make Hundredth proud. Dayseeker’s terrific trio burn the conventional “heavy/soft” routine–they are never truly “soft,” nor do they ever attempt to crush the listener with copy-paste chugs or standard breakdowns.
Breaking Origin into its composite parts doesn’t do it’s true beauty justice. Dayseeker jam pack this album with immense, enormous emotional themes that are built upon subtle nuances. Perhaps it’s the way “The Burning of Bridges” mirrors “The Nail in Our Coffin.” Perhaps it’s the sheer heart-stopping beauty of “Never See the Sun Rise” or the way you sympathize with every syllable Rodriguez sings and shouts. Perhaps it’s the way almost any listener, man or woman, adult or child, can sympathize with “Origin.” Perhaps it’s all of the above—In fact, to hell with “perhaps,” as the emotion and power in Dayseeker’s full length album doesn’t leave room for uncertainty—only sure fire, spine-shaking, heart stopping beauty.
For Fans Of: Hundredth, Northlane, Stolas, Counterparts, Worthwhile
By: Connor Welsh