In days gone by the term black metal once conjured up images of satanic symbolism or some other form of ritualistic practice. However, this naïve view has thankfully long gone, and the genre has expanded tenfold to allow a whole host of different variations on it. One such sub-genre is blackgaze, which has brought an element of beauty to what was otherwise quite a harsh listen to the untrained ear.
On their debut offering, Russia’s Daydream Flights are most certainly in the grand atmospheric side of this style of music, and it makes for the piercing screams that little bit more effective. Whisper opens with the delicate sounds of piano keys as drums and guitars are gently introduced before the first howling scream from the bands vocalist appears, really setting the tone for what is to follow. Even though opening track ‘Led Flowers’ clocks in at just over seven minutes the track does not by any means outstay its welcome, with all the transitions in the song having a purpose and it isn’t gratuitously long for the sake of it. And this is the theme throughout the record. With not a single song coming in under the three-minute mark, Daydream Flights make use of every second of airtime they have. Whether that be blasting drums, fuzz layered guitars or screaming vocals, all the elements work for one common goal.
Title track ‘Whisper’ is a particular stand out, the band really showcasing the underlying darkness in the music they make which here is tinged with those characteristic atmospheric sounds, making the listener think not everything is bleak and chaotic. As a whole the album is saturated both with pain and euphoria, and although there will be the inevitable links to bands such as Deafheaven, this is by no means an imitation band. Citing old soviet movies as an inspiration, not only does their music come across as triumphant in many aspects, you get a sense that the band have triumphed in a world where they are maybe not meant to succeed.
Whisper is out now and can be purchased here.
Words: Tim Birkbeck