Dayseeker – ‘Dreaming is Sinking /// Waking is Rising’

By Mark Johnson

At the heart of Dayseeker’s third album ‘Dreaming is Sinking /// Waking is Rising’ is an engrossing story told from the perspective of a man put in a vegetative state after avenging his wife’s attackers. Our narrator is reduced to a comatose state while the world around him continues to shift and evolve, including the death of his mother and his partner moving onto another relationship. The execution of the concept is so well done that it signifies a huge step up, not only lyrically, but musically as well, making this the band’s finest work to date.

Supporting this intricate concept is an instrumental core that’s just as well conceived. At its heaviest, the djent-like guitars draw similarities to Northlane, the jagged rhythms and low-end guitars adding a thick bottom through the core of the record. This is equally balanced by melodic, driving chords and intricate lead lines that add atmosphere to the record’s emotional story line.

Vocalist Rory Rodriguez plays a crucial role as the conduit for the record’s narrative and his superb performance is certainly up to the task. At their most melodic, Rodriguez’s vocals have an R&B quality usually associated with Jonny Craig or Tyler Carter, but with a grittier tone. Where these vocalists are typically supplemented by screamers in their bands to phrase the heavier parts, Rodriguez covers all bases himself, his voice erupting into low-end screams to reinforce the heavy parts. Rodriguez also fills the gap between the screams and melodic notes, often overlapping both techniques to create a raspy, mid-range; a technique well used by Sam Carter of Architects.

It’s not only Rodriguez’s tone and range that’s impressive, but also the phrasing of his melodies. The chorus hooks become planted in your head and since the chorus lyrics focus on key parts of the plot, you absorb what’s happening in the story by association. Phrases like “I am the anchor, that you had to break away from” and “trapped in a vessel going nowhere, I try to reach you, but no words escape. Could you blame me if I felt like giving up?” keep you intrigued as you sing along, tying the narrative to the music throughout.

This record is a huge step forward for Dayseeker, pushing the boundaries of their music instrumentally as well as lyrically. Not only can ‘Dreaming is Sinking /// Waking is Rising’ be considered the most cohesive and engaging material the band has produced to date, it stands out as one of the leading records in the genre as well.

MARK JOHNSON

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