Review 1304 : The Halo Effect – Days of the Lost – English

The Halo Effect is a story of old friends.

Although the band was only formed in 2021 in Sweden, Mikael Stanne (vocals, Dark Tranquillity, Grand Cadaver, ex-Hammerfall), Jesper Strömblad (guitar, Ceremonial Oath, Cyhra, ex-Hammerfall, ex-The Resistance…), Peter Iwers (bass, Fleetburner, ex-Cyhra), Niclas Engelin (guitar, Engel, We Sell the Dead, ex-Passenger) and Daniel Svensson (drums, ex-Sacrilege), all former In Flames members, have been part of the Swedish scene for years. The band signed to Nuclear Blast and announced the release of their first album, Days of the Lost.

The album starts with Shadowminds, which gradually reveals its catchy riffs and heady leads, then the wild screams join the mix. We quickly notice that the alchemy is natural, letting the musicians’ influences answer each other before Days Of The Lost comes to offer more dynamic patterns. Of course, we find melodies that seem familiar to us, but the vocalist’s rage gives them a new life, then The Needless End comes to integrate a part of melancholy to the rhythmic. The more aggressive elements easily calm down in front of soaring melodies, which will also give way to Conditional and its catchy groove. The solid and worked riffs slightly slow down to simplify during the chorus, letting the band inject some samples, just like on In Broken Trust and its mysterious influences. Heady leads quickly arouse our curiosity while the explosive rhythmic strikes, helped by massive vocals, which will change into clean on the chorus. The album continues with Gateways, a more haunting composition whose softness will slowly break into a hypnotic darkness with airy influences, especially on those transcending leads. The contrast with tortured vocals parts is amazing, then A Truth Worth Lying For takes over by going back to the raw aggressiveness and jerky patterns while skillfully placing a bit of haunting clean vocals. The two elements coexist wonderfully, just like on Feel What I Believe, a composition that knows how to be both extremely energetic and catchy, but also softer in the more heady lead parts. The solid rhythmic leads us to Last Of Our Kind, a track that lets us breathe with its dark introduction before crushing us under sharp and heavy riffs. We will find melancholic orchestrations on the devastating chorus, before welcoming Matthew Kiichi Heafy (Trivium, Ibaraki) for a striking intervention before The Most Alone closes the album. On this last track, we notice a much more pessimistic touch, either in the melodies or in the driving rhythmic, letting vocals magnify this melancholy.

When the band was announced, I was immediately won over. The Halo Effect brings together the catchiest elements, the most intense melodies and the most effective rage of two bands I love. Days of the Lost will be on repeat for a long, long time…


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