Album Review: The Halo Effect – Days of the Lost

Bring together members of some of the most influential melodic death metal bands of the 1990s and you get a supergroup, a term that may not be the most helpful but most certainly applies to The Halo Effect. Comprising Dark Tranquility vocalist Mikael Stanne, and former and current In Flames members Niclas Engelin, Jesper Strömblad, Peter Iwers and Daniel Svensson. Formed during the pandemic, it’s fair to say that these icons of the Gothenburg Sound were likely to produce something exciting.

Named after the track on the final Rush album, 2012’s Clockwork Angels, The Halo Effect have crafted 40 minutes of classic yet contemporary melodic death metal which is a joy to listen to from start to finish. There is plenty of Stanne’s trademark growling, the perfect melody that oozes through each song but all reinforced with enough steel to make it appeal to those whose tastes may veer towards the more extreme genres.

From the opener “Shadowminds” with its vast soundscapes that swirl and bewitch, through the reflective introduction of “Conditional” which explodes into a thunderous raging maelstrom through to the soaring anthems of closing song “The Most Alone,” there is plenty of versatility within Days of the Lost. Yet it doesn’t stray too far from the blueprint that will delight fans of the genre, In Flames and Dark Tranquility.

Delve deeper into the release and you’ll see many tendrils that remain attached to the band’s old school roots. They have been doing this for over three decades after all so it’s unlikely that they were going to completely rebrand their style.

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What’s evident is that The Halo Effect is a cohesive unit. The songs flow organically, the music complementing the lyrics and the vocal delivery. Stanne can bring his glorious clean vocals to contrast with his deathly growls. “In Broken Trust” is a perfect blend of heavy riffing with gloriously rich melodies, all curled up into a song that brings everything together in just over four minutes.  I’m not oversold on the intro to “Gateways” which sounds a little too Arch Enemy for me, but this is a minor criticism as the song itself is underpinned by a groove and stomp that works.

With a special guest in Trivium’s Matt Heafy on penultimate song “Last of Our Kind” bringing a special buzz toward the end of the album, Days of the Lost is an album well worth the wait, the hype, and the anticipation. How they will fare opening for Machine Head and Amon Amarth is debatable, but on the strength of this first showing, it may be enough to tip me into buying a ticket.

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Days of the Lost is out on August 12th

Header image by Markus Esselmark

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September 11, 2022 8:26 PM

[…] formed in 2021, have already released one of my favourite albums of this year in Days of the Lost [review here – Mosh]. The opportunity to see Mikael Stanne, Niclas Engelin, Peter Iwers, Jesper Strömblad […]

May 6, 2024 2:35 PM

[…] UK & Europe for 2025. Fans can expect a set packed with all the hits from their debut album [review here], alongside some brand new […]