Already with their debut album Depressive Icons, Daylight Misery had shown great potential, and with this The Great Absence they fully live up to the expectations created. The Greek band offers a sound that is by no means revolutionary but, drawing mainly on well-known realities in the Hellenic peninsula such as Rotting Christ and Nightfall, as well as natural references to Paradise Lost, stands out to the listener’s attention after just a few passages, thanks to incisive and unadulterated writing. There is not a single track on this record, in fact, that proves to be superfluous or irrelevant to the final result: The Great Absence is a journey of rare pleasantness that winds its way through tracks set to an average standard of between four and five minutes in length and normally centered on the canonical verse-chorus structure that, as obvious as it may seem, in this case proves to be absolutely successful. It has been said of the reference points that are undeniable for Athenian Boys: if the proximity of the immense Rotting Christ is detectable in the common ability to launch into amazing crescendos with an epic flavor, from Nightfall the great taste for melody has been absorbed and perhaps, of all, this is the band that is most reasonably approachable to Daylight Misery; it is no coincidence that, in the previous work, the single Meadows Of Desire featured Efthimis Karadimas himself as guest vocalist and, in some ways, it pains me to say that in this specific case the students have surpassed the masters, always attested to good levels but unable to find the inspiration of a record like I Am Jesus. Of Paradise Lost it is superfluous to speak, since anyone who ventures into this genre owes everything to the Halifax band, and it is almost impossible to reckon without them. That said, let us not think of Daylight Misery as good craftsmen capable of assembling without particular merit a sound puzzle composed of different parts, however noble: the Hellenic quartet possesses its own well-defined style and, above all, has songs capable of lingering in the listener’s memory for a long time, as is the case with Erynnis Funeralis, a gem that one does not come across frequently, but the same can be said for the equally intense Thliveros Cheimonas (Sorrowful Winter), sung in the mother tongue, and for Futile Salvation, with its melancholic doom-like incipit. Not to mention, again, the deadly Human Pollution, with guitars sketching oriental atmospheres, and Silence, which for a few moments recalls the Evereve of the first two magnificent records (nothing to do with their later and much less effective dark-electronic drift). Drop Dead could easily have been among the top tracks on Paradise Lost’s last three-four records, while the concluding This Is How It Ends possesses a fine refrain but is perhaps the least incisive episode of the entire work and is a pity precisely because of its placement, not least because at certain moments it really does seem like a duller version of the previous track. Nothing serious, if placed in the context of an album in which Vassilis Mazaris interprets all the songs with the right conviction, with a voice that is an ideal mix between Sakis and Efthimis, and if perhaps at many junctures it may not seem particularly versatile, it is equally effective as well as adequate in the rare clean passages, while the rest of the band borders on perfection in its essentiality. Daylight Misery, with The Great Absence loudly claim a place of prominence in a scene far broader than the Hellenic one, in which, however, they show that they have all the credentials to compete on a par with the likes of Rotting Christ, Nightfall and Septicflesh.
2013 – I For An I Records