Dead to a Dying World - Litany CD/2xLP
Dead To A Dying World's Litany was probably my second favorite record that came out in 2015 (behind only Marilyn Manson's The Pale Emperor), and I regret that it has taken me so long to finally write something about it.
Dead to a Dying World, if you're not familiar, is a band/collective from Texas that play a style of metal that incorporates elements of crust punk, black metal, folk, and sludge into a coherent and very organic whole that couldn't be accurately labelled by any of those on their own. The crust punk ethos and origins of the band are apparent in their music, but they should appeal to a much wider audience because there is so much more going on here.
I hate to make this comparison, but if you are as big a Skagos fan as I am, and you miss them as much as I do, you're gonna fall for this record. That's not even fully fair though, because the band has as much in common with Skagos as it does with, say, Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Explosions in the Sky. If you heard DTADW's self-titled debut and though these folks were good songwriters then, then you should be just marveling now, because my my how they have grown. Litany is composed of six tracks that total nearly an hour and fifteen minutes, driven by rhythms that do as much to hypnotize as they do to destroy. There is a nearly overwhelming aura of sadness to the record (that viola/cello, and those otherworldly vocals, particularly the female ones, really do a number on me), as the band seems to be standing on the edge, looking out over a failing world ruled by failing masters. The dejection and desolation is real. But whenever you feel like maybe they've given up hope, they drag you back into reaching out for some sort of feeling that maybe we can turn things around, with ascending tempos, melodies and a clear, passionate longing for something better. The world may be sick and, in fact, dying - but it's not dead yet. If we do go down, let's at least never let go of the beauty that nature let us have a glimpse of every once in a while.
I can't say enough about how good this album is. You can download and/or stream it from Bandcamp, here or here, but I'm sure you're not surprised that I will go out of my way to champion the vinyl edition of the record. The 2xLP is packaged in a glorious gatefold jacket with incredible artwork and a lyric sheet that I would encourage you to use to follow the record. It's an amazing experience every time. Buy the 2xLP (or the CD) here, from our friends at Gilead Media/Eroding Winds.