The Halo Effect - Days of the Lost (2022)


Coming to take the best Melodic Death Metal release of 2022 title, today we have The Halo Effect and their debut full-length release “Days of the Lost”. For the uninitiated, as soon as this band was announced, we knew they would release something insanely awesome. Featuring Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) on vocals, and pretty much every good musician In Flames started or had a long time with, like Jesper Strömblad and Niclas Engelin on guitars, Daniel Svensson on drums, and Peter Iwers on bass, this line-up is beyond stacked.

Immediately making an impact with “Shadowminds”, we quickly get an old-school Dark Tranquillity whiff, but this is slowly replaced with a very interesting hybrid of both early DT and In Flames, but with a modern edge, experienced musicianship, and excellent production values. It is very cool to hear songs like the album title track, “The Needless End” and “Conditional”, and wonder if this is how things would have shaken out if these guys would have made music together since back in the day.

All songs in this release are equally excellent, with different levels of melancholy and melody like the more subtle “In Broken Trust” and its lush clean vocals, or our favorite “Gateways” and its more dynamic and engaging pace. As expected, the guitar work on tracks like “Feel What I Believe” and “A Truth Worth Lying For”, is top notch, with the traditional Swedish Melodic Death Metal riffs alongside crafty drumming.

Overall, “Days of the Lost” is an album full of surprises, from the dramatic string arrangements of “Last of Our Kind”, to the ‘blast from the past’ familiarity of pieces like “Shadowminds”. It is not a surprise that such a group of accomplished musicians, managed to craft one hell of a seminal release in a genre that has inspired so many bands over the years. But more impressively is how this release is both timeless and fresh sounding at the same time.

Bands: The Halo Effect Album: Days of the Lost

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Release: August 12th, 2022

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Genre: Melodic Black Metal

Country: Sweden

Rating: 96/100

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