Album Review: The Halo Effect – Days of the Lost


Forming a Gothenburg Voltron are former In Flames members along with Dark Tranquility vocalist Mikael Stanne: The Halo Effect! Guitarists Jesper Strömblad, Niclas Engelin, bassist Peter Iwers, and drummer Daniel Svensson joined forces with Stanne in 2020 and have blessed the melo-death community with their debut full-length Days of the Lost. This 10-track homage to Swedish death metal contains one well-structured single after another, with no song exceeding five minutes nor falling short of 3:30—the meaty pocket for a hit.

Following its brief, ground-swelling intro, “Shadowminds” attacks the senses with massive sound production and energy. Melodic grooves and Stanne’s juicy, carbonated growls are immediately in perfect harmony.

After the title track finishes barreling us over, “The Needless End” sways with a Viking cadence. Its stormy rhythms and dramatic up-beat fast riffs a la At The Gates provide a solid crust for its utterly heart-wrenching chorus. Tears run dry by the time its elegant clean guitar outro unfolds.

The dual guitar dynamic steps aside for bass and creeping synths during the haunting verses in “In Broken Trust.” The chorus is where clean vocals makes its first appearance on the album; Stanne’s noble tone creates visuals of a Knight that’s lost faith in his Kingdom. The serenading also appears in the chorus of “A Truth Worth Lying For,” whose verse features a militaristic groove and whose pre-chorus sports a fiery two-step.

“Feel What I Believe” is the highest octane burner on the record, discharging thrashy tempos. The victorious atmosphere makes it more of a fitting closing track than “The Most Alone”, but the latter’s ending—with the lyric “most alone” quietly repeating—is a fine capper. Sandwiched in between these finishers is “Last of Our Kind” which showcases a dark and elegant strings intro.

This newly formed five-piece collective of melo-death veterans are making a remarkable first impression with Days of the Lost. They’re reacquainting the metal world with the raw, Gothenburg essence through triumphant guitar licks, leads, and heroic-yet-melancholic soundscapes. Immerse yourself in this front-to-back banger when it releases on August 12 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Buy the album here.

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