rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

1. Sleeptalk
2. Without Me feat. Amber DeLaRosa
3. Neon Grave
4. Starving To Be Empty feat. Lucas Woodland
5. Homesick
6. Crying While You're Dancing
7. Burial Plot feat. Caleb Shomo
8. Drunk
9. Afterglow
10. My Immortal

DAYSEEKER are champions of the progressive metalcore sound, and lately the band's music has found an even bigger audience, thanks to high-profile tours with popular metalcore bands, such as BAD OMENS and PIERCE THE VEIL. Now, DAYSEEKER are out with a new studio album, "Replica", and it shows their diversity as a unit.

"Replica", more than any of DAYSEEKER's previous releases, displays a love for the unanticipated, as the musicians present ten unplugged songs, "reimagining" nine favorites from their catalog and an unexpected cover. It's uncommon for a metalcore band to release an acoustic album, this fact alone is a statement of their adventurous nature as a band.

The album's opening track, "Sleeptalk", is an understated acoustic take on their explosive 2019 song, which was one of their biggest hits, clocking nearly 50 million Spotify streams. While vocalist Rory Rodriguez always has intense vocals, hearing him in an acoustic setting really makes his voice stand out. It's refreshing to hear his clear vocals without so much noise behind them. "Without Me" follows, bringing a delicate, gentle rendition of the band's 2022 hit single, this time featuring MOXY THE BAND's Amber DeLaRosa's indie-flavored vocals. Here, the harmonies give the song a country vibe. It's the kind of laid-back song you'd hear coming out of the porch speakers in the country on a warm summer day.

The album features other intriguing collaborations, too, such as Lucas Woodland of HOLDING ABSENCE on the heartbreaking "Starving to be Empty", which is about one of Rodriguez's friends who struggled with an eating disorder. Elsewhere, BEARTOOTH's Caleb Shomo appears on the atmospheric "Burial Plot". Other highlights include the dreamy, pop-oriented "Homesick", which shows off Rodriguez's upper range, and the almost shoegaze-sounding "Afterglow".

The album closes with perhaps its most unique offering: a cover of the EVANESCENCE classic, "My Immortal". It's an interesting choice, and while DAYSEEKER stays true to the song's melodies and lyrics, hearing the song sung by Rodriguez with dreamy, unplugged sonics gives it a different, less gothic character than the original.

DAYSEEKER are challenging what is means to be metalcore in 2024 with "Replica", which shows off a sharply different musical side to their sound. Such a daring move deserves kudos, but it will also be nice to hear the band get back to their heavier side with their next original studio release.

Author: Anne Erickson
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