Words by Michael Naidos
While some of us are still the same old asshole we were in 2019, others used the last few years to grow, evolve and change for the better…others like OUR DYING WORLD. The Los Angeles melodic death metal band have leaned heavily more so on the melodic on their latest, Hymns of Blinding Darkness than their first EP, Expedition.
Their production is much more pristine since then, and it is immediately felt as the pumping orchestral introduction Ars Moriendi grips the listener in as it raises expectations like the score to a scene from a Michael Bay film.
Though will the album feature as many explosions?
Moving onto Everything We Know is Gone it is made apparent just how much Our Dying World’s sound has evolved from their debut. A tight thrash riff kicks things off as the vocals come in to harmonise with the guitars to solidify the excitement of this sophomore release. Each band member gets their time to shine in a celebration of unity as a guitar solo is followed by a keyboard sting.
A much more collaborative effort as the band shared songwriting duties with this album. While drummer TOM TIERNEY wrote Expedition in its entirety, each member had their hands in the clay for this one.
Guitarist RAY SANCHEZ shaped Under the Hunter’s Blade from a single riff. The song cruises along really well with tremendous pacing and haunting lyrics. The new sound is already reminiscent of CHILDREN OF
BODOM and NIGHTWISH with how tight and delicate the songwriting is while also ferocious and intense.
A warped sample of THE BEACH BOYS‘ Barbara Ann introduces Survivor before an onslaught of gigantic guitars and drums precede a down toned verse. The rarity of soft vocals make an appearance and intercept great with the return of the screams of a hard chorus. The whole track builds with anticipation that the release of the chorus thrills each time, as does the emotional guitar solo.
The band writes songs that reflect on the changes and tribulations of the world as we now see it. Tales of the treacheries of man. The band members compliment the lyrics so well throughout, they elevate any
feelings of familiarity or with the subjects on hand.
A perfect example of this is the song Path of the Nomad, which thunderous drumming and orchestral influences work breathtakingly alongside vocalist DAVID AINSWORTH as he laments with passion a man living alone on the road. Throughout its five minutes in length I vicariously lived through the protagonist and found myself transported under a starlit purple sky in solitude.
Ainsworth’s first song written for the band is Diary of a War Dog, a traumatic exploration of one’s history with the battlefield, complete with a military style rhythm and sombre piano breakdown. It’s full of fury and grit until an explosive end. Kudos for going full Michael Bay, guys.
Cue the orchestral interlude in Valediction before ending strongly with Veil of the Reaper. Masterfully constructed, atmospheric and expressive.
As with many great evolutions, Our Dying World took all their best parts and made it huge. This album paces brilliantly and delivers in spades. An overall epic release of their own brand of hard rocking hymns.