Album Review: The Halo Effect - Days of the Lost

Album Review: The Halo Effect - Days of the Lost

What happens when a group of exceptionally talented musicians with 30 years of experience under their belt respectively who also just so happen to all be ex members of In Flames get together? An old school Melo-Death Gothenburg scene phenomena with a modern approach is born in the form of The Halo Effect.

Consisting of guitarists Niclas Engelin and Jesper Strömblad, vocalist and lyricist Mikael Stanne, bassist Peter Iwers and drummer Daniel Svensson, the quintet dominated the Gothenburg scene and would go on to form In Flames and Dark Tranquility. The Halo Effect is an amalgamation of that core sound with the experience and skills they have gained throughout the years.

Guitarist Niclas Engelin says of their sound: “There was no exceptional plan or overthinking when it came to the creation of the music, except for being ourselves and to play like we always do, let it all come naturally and have fun while doing it. And I think we had just that – fun!! We all really love playing together and after nearly 3 decades of full on Riffage & Thunder in the name of Gothenburg Sound/Death Metal, we still feel it!”

The record starts off strong with ‘Shadowminds,’ the blistering first track to be released. Stanne’s voice is instantly recognisable with his ferocious growls on a backdrop of that distinct, Gothenburg scene guitar riffage, evocative solos and rhythmic drumming. The title track charges on with catchy hooks and soaring, melodic soundscapes blending seamlessly in to ‘The Needless End‘ which carries on the same atmospheric momentum.

Conditional‘ begins as a slower, more emotive pace before erupting forth with fevered intensity. The juxtaposition of the slower introduction breathes new life in to the record and provides the necessary vigour without it becoming stale. ‘In Broken Trust‘ ramps up the intensity with heavy guitars and impassioned brutality offset by clean vocal melodies. ‘Gateways‘ is a haunting assault with a mid-tempo stride and eloquent musicianship coupled with a chant-worthy chorus. ‘A Truth Worth Lying For‘ charges on and proves that the record doesn’t lose momentum at its halfway point. Every bit as brutal and melodic now as it was at the beginning featuring more melodic clean vocals again to offset Stanne’s ferocious growls.

Feel What I Believe‘ is overflowing with thunderous drumming and epic riffing forever pushing on and maintaining a storm of melodic mayhem. ‘Last Of Our Kind‘ is the penultimate track with a haunting orchestral introduction before descending in to a storm of blistering riffs and chugging beats with guest vocals from Trivium’s Matt Heafy providing further demonic growls. The closing track ‘The Most Alone‘ is emotive, powerful and soaring in every aspect, bringing the record full circle, slowly fading out with a single ethereal guitar distortion.

Despite their previous successes, The Halo Effect stand on their own two feet, independently from any previous endeavours. Days of the Lost is a labour of love for the music between lifelong friends; a perfect blend of old school Gothenburg scene Melodic Death Metal with modern ideas and approaches added in to the mix.

Rating: 8.5/10

Released By: Nuclear Blast

Release Date: 12th August 2022

For Fans Of: In Flames, Dark Tranquility, At The Gates

Favourite Track(s): Shadowminds, In Broken Trust, A Truth Worth Lying For, Last Of Our Kind

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