The Danish city of Roskilde is home to one of Scandinavia’s biggest music festivals and a Gothic cathedral that continues to house many Danish Monarchs among its 39 tombs. But now the city has unleashed something equally majestic and a band that can truly put the city on the map in the form of metalcore act Daze of June.
The quartet have honed a delicious metalcore sound that fleets between delicious singalong melodies and moments of pure unadulterated aggression. They initially formed through childhood friends Benjamin (vocals and guitar) and Dennis (drummer and lyricist) who played music together on and off before forming a serious band in around 2012.
As Dennis tells us: “We called ourselves Archives of Alaska right up to the point of releasing our debut album in March. Sylvester (guitar) came along around the release of our self-titled EP in 2016, and Simon replaced our former bassist, also named Simon, last year. Speaking for myself, music has also been about expressing feelings that are hard to communicate in other ways. It gives room for openly addressing personal stuff.”
The band’s sound has been honed on a collective love for bands like Architects, Every Time I Die and Beartooth, but a varied interest in many different genres. And, as Dennis explains: “We have lots of discussions on the quality of different bands, and it can be quite hard for us to agree on any given act.” And this varied influence comes across in their aforementioned debut album Heart of Silver, which fuses moments of melody with hard-hitting heaviness.
Second track Summit Fever perfectly embodies this approach. Opening up with building guitars that are met with a huge scream and a big wall of guitar noise, a darting riff leads into a heavy opening verse led by big screamed vocals. That’s countered by clean vocals, then huge screams, big low-tuned riffs and a singalong chorus.
But the track that first attracted me to Daze of June is the incredible It Stays, which opens up with light guitars, a few smashes of cymbals, then big guitars over haunting synth sounds. Palm-tuned guitars support clean vocals through an engaging opening verse, with the guitars gradually building as the intensity builds with repeats of “These dreams of birds buried in the ocean.” Then it suddenly explodes into the ridiculously good vocals “Now this fear has a heart and it stays with you forever.” The heaviness increases in the second verse, then another awesome verse with big doomy drums and diving guitars in support, then dropping into deliciously low-tuned guitars over huge drums before coming to a big atmospheric ending. This is an absolutely brilliant track, and you can check it out in the video below:
On the album, Dennis says: “(It) has certainly helped us gain a foothold in the Danish metal scene. It’s nice to get some recognition and having people from numerous different countries write to us is amazing and quite surreal. As far as the sound of the album goes, I think it’s both hard-hitting and aggressive but with a big focus on great melody lines and catchiness. We want the choruses to stick with the listener and I think we succeeded in that.
“We tend to focus a lot on making the songs as catchy as they possibly can, while not compromising the energy. I think we strike a good balance between heaviness and melody, and we are very aware of not making too huge of a gap between the brutal and more melodic parts of the songs. These big melodic choruses can have a tendency to feel a bit misplaced in the metalcore genre in general, so we work in a lot of stuff, like clean singing in the verses too, to make the songs as coherent and flow as nicely as possible.”
While on what inspires their music, he expands: “Well, like most people I write from personal experience. I tend to strike a quite bittersweet tone with the lyrics, as I think it complements the harmonics of the melodies in a great way. I like the lyrics not to be too self-explanatory, so I work in a lot of metaphors, although I’ve learned that you can’t speak in riddles all the time if you want the average listener to connect with you. I have made a compromise in that department, but I can surely see now that it works for the best.
“The lyrics for the Heart of Silver album are quite diverse in terms of topics and moods, I guess. Songs like Two Suns and Heart of Silver, talk about friendship, while It Stays deals with mental illness and the effects I’ve seen that mainly borderline can have on a person. The lyrics just reflect my mindset at the time of writing them, but I do think that if you dig a little into them, there’s actually a positive undertone hidden in a lot of the songs. ”
Daze of June are only the third band we’ve spoken to from Denmark, so we asked Dennis for his insight into the state of rock and metal in the country. He told us: “I think it’s as strong and diverse as ever. Bands like Baest, Møl and Cabal are all carving a name for themselves internationally, while many more seem ready to follow suit. We are very proud of being a part of the Prime Collective and being on a roster with so much talent in so many niches of rock and metal.”
The band have several shows scheduled in their homeland with experimental rockers Odd Palace and are working hard on writing their second album, which they hope to take into the studio sometime next year. We love the sound of Daze of June and we’re keen to hear more from them in the new year.
As Dennis concludes: “If you like your metalcore catchy and with great melodies, then I would recommend your readers to have a listen to our album. My bet is you would find at least something of interest!”