Gripping vocals soar over an intricate battle of guitar and keyboard melodies, as galloping bass and drums charge forth from the stages of New England dive bars. This is the vivid drama brought to bear by Dialith, a symphonic metal band hailing from Danbury, CT. Formed in 2015 by guitarist and composer Alasdair Wallace Mackie and vocalist Krista Sion, the project was born of love for bands such as Nightwish, Epica, Kamelot, Arch Enemy, Nevermore, and Fleshgod Apocalypse, and also a penchant for film composers including Bear McCreary and Hans Zimmer.
With the addition of drummer Cullen Mitchell, the band released their EP “Through Stone” in 2017 accompanied by a lyric video for the single “Quiver of Deception.” Keyboardist Charles Woodruff and bassist Mark Grey joined the lineup soon after, and Dialith’s mesmerizing live shows began earning them a following in the northeastern United States. The band spent 2018 writing and recording their debut full-length album Extinction Six, due for release on August 16, 2019 in digital and CD formats.
Extinction Six draws inspiration from many different influences: symphonic metal, power metal, melodic death, and film scores. The lyrical themes touch on everything from human emotion to fantasy sea monsters — but most prominently, ecological destruction.
What a huge sounding record this. Epic is the perfect word to encapsulate Extinction Six and what Dialith bring out of the bag here. The very moment the score-like intro of Emergence gets going, you should be completely safe in knowledge that if anything, this album is going to make you feel ten-feet tall.
We’re off the races with The Sound of Your Voice though, the bombastic speeding metal infused with classic symphonic elements. Familiar but comforting.
Where Fire Dwells doesn’t change the formula but that’s no bad thing as symphonic metal done well can be so enjoyable. That is certainly the case with these first couple of tracks led by an impressive percussion section and the soaring vocals.
Of course as heavy as the album can be (and that is very heavy), it is also about showcasing a powerhouse of musical styles that give it the sound of grandness. That comes in the form of Libra, Quiver of Deception and Catalyst. The latter of that trio is so excitable it seems to be on a sugar rush.
Whereas some good old-fashioned power metal shredding is well and truly present on Break the Chains. Of course as you’d expect we do also get a ballad, one to put the vocals front and centre which is exactly what we get with The River Runs Dry.
It’s really solid stuff but if we’re honest, a little boring. That seems harsh but as interesting as we wanted to be, it just doesn’t do enough. Even something as impressively large in scope as the final title track.
17+ minutes long, it really is a powerhouse of a track and so very impressive as it takes us across a huge and lengthy journey. One that touches on every part of Dialith’s sound. Symphonic highs, heavy lows, pacey riffing and the controlled chaotic nature of it all works so very well. It’s just not attention grabbing and that makes it ultimately forgettable.
Dialith – Extinction Six Full Track Listing:
1. Emergence (Intro)
2. The Sound of Your Voice
3. Where Fire Dwells
5. Break the Chains
6. Quiver of Deception
7. The River Runs Dry
8. In Every Breath
10. The Wraith
11. Extinction Six
Dialith - Extinction Six (Self Released)
The Final Score - 7/10