It’s clear from the onset that Dead To A Dying World aren’t just another post-black metal band, and Elegy has far greater aspirations than bathing in the shadow of Deafheaven’s Sunbather. For those previously unfamiliar (like myself), Elegy is the third part of a trilogy exploring a post-human world, and the lone survivor’s experiences in the aftermath of total destruction.
Given its name, it’s no surprise that Elegy is haunting, melancholic, and mournful. The record’s themes and the more melodic flourishes recall The Peaceville Three at their best and saddest. However, Dead To A Dying World’s widescreen musical aspirations run deep, allowing for a record that truly breathes life into the listener.
Of course, one of the most memorable and interesting aspects of the band (past and present) is Eva Vonne’s viola work. Unlike a lot of lesser symphonic black metal acts who use the keyboard as an afterthought, Dead To A Dying World unleash Vonne throughout the record. It’s truly stunning to hear blackened fury with a viola, but it’s in the calmer moments of the record where Vonne truly shines.
Few acts dare to bring such diametrically opposite ends of the extreme/melodic spectrum to their art, but this Texan act go all out in creating a haunting atmosphere. Elegy is post-black metal where progressive songwriting, a symphonic mindset, and the patience to allow songs to breathe all come together to create something majestic and powerful. It’s rare that a record with three 11-plus minute songs leaves me wanting more, but Elegy is so emotionally resonate, so thematically impactful, that it’s impossible not to want more.
For those willing to open their minds and carve out 50 minutes, Elegy may be one of the most rewarding experiences of 2019. It’s such a visual listen that I can picture the barren landscape and the wrenching loneliness through my speakers. Sure, there won’t be any burned churches or occult imagery, but few records can produce something as grim as this.