Since gaining popularity in the U.S. in 2013, there hasn’t been as many bands who are as consistent as Bastille. It seems like Dan Smith is constantly in the spotlight somehow. Whether that’s a feature on another artist’s music, releasing another album, another single, a B-sides version of an album, whatever. It seems like Bastille is releasing music every few months and they’ve been in the spotlight in one way or another for the past six years. Their third LP that they’ve released for Virgin is called Doom Days it’s a conceptual album about the end of the world, and it certainly adds some interesting pieces to the band’s catalog of music.
It’s not really that surprising that Smith came up with a project like Doom Days. After all, the band’s first big single was written from the perspective of someone suffering through Pompei being covered by a volcano. Also, knowing Smith’s affection for drama and film, it makes sense for him to put together something conceptual about something epic and dramatic.
There are two types of concept records; there’s the concept album that’s written from that perspective but fails to hit on anything that it’s trying to say – it just plays like and comes across as a normal album. The concept either comes across as something personal or encoded and it misses its mark. Then there are concept albums that hit everything they’re trying to do and play like movies AND manage to be memorable as individual songs. Marianas Trench are the recent kings of this, but Bastille does a really good job with this concept record. Going through “Quarter Past Midnight” when things start hitting the fan to “Million Pieces,” “Doom Days”, and “Nocturnal Creatures” when the music is pretty bleak to the final positive outcome of the story in “Joy” – Doom Days tells a story with these songs about triumphing over devastation in one form or another. It’s a concept album that hits all the right notes.
Conceptually, Doom Days is cool but musically it’s great too. Doom Days features better music than “Wild World” and when the cycle is done it should have more memorable songs from it too. “Bad Decisions”, “The Waves”, “Million Pieces” “Those Nights”, and “Joy” all will find niche playlists and listeners that will boost they’re lifespan significantly.
Doom Days is going to be one hell of a show on tour, that will be cool to see. It will be interesting to see what Smith and co. do to adapt them into a set list or how much they play from the new album in the first place. That aside, this record is a very cool piece from a band that manages to give a shit about putting out true albums, that’s something you don’t see a lot these days. This is an album that will stick with you for years from now, and in this music climate, that’s an achievement.