Dreaming Dead: Midnightmares
10/05/12 || Sokaris
Right off the bat this reminds me of a mix of Anata and Arsis, definitely a good thing and especially right now. Both are amazing technical melodic death metal bands and both have been disappointing lately. Anata for going six goddamn years without a new album (and counting) and Arsis for never being able to live up to their debut. Anyway, Dreaming Dead is a talented group and could potentially be able to fill the gap left by those bands. Their sound is tricky to pin down as it lies somewhere between the three branches of technical, melodic and more orthodox death metal. There are some fret acrobatics present (though not at the level of either of the aforementioned ‘A’ acts) and a penchant for melodies. Throughout it all though there’s the occasional element of thrash and a lot of the midpaced riffing has a bit of an oldschool charm to it.
I’m under the impression that Elizabeth Schall (guitarist/vocalist) is the mastermind of the band and if so she’s definitely well-versed in diverse forms of aggression. There’s a cohesive mix of noodling counterpoint and straightforward pummeling and “Midnightmares” is fairly able to balance the two. Sometimes said noodling goes on too long and makes the songs drag though. “In Memoriam” needs some editing for instance and “Lapse” seems to take forever to really get going. A busier drum arrangement with more tempo changeups, cutting down some repetitions or maybe utilizing more soloing would help. Dreaming Dead seem to get stuck in midpaced mode a bit too much and those parts could stand out more with speedy sections to contrast with. The vocals are hit-or-miss as the more venomous screams and growls are great but there’s a sort of shouty undertone to some parts that sounds off to my ears. Production is well-done but a little more brightness in the guitars might give it a heavier edge. Bass is fairly prominent and easy to separate which is a plus because the band does use their low-end guy to contribute more than just thickening up riffs.
All in all you could do a lot worse if you want something techy. This is miles ahead of what a lot of the super boring insipidly brutal (read: brutarded) bands that have decided blasting with arpeggio sweeps makes you automatically good. Dreaming Dead write decent riffs and put them together well and at the end of the day that’s basically what determines if a metal band is good or not. Not mindblowing but worth checking out, especially if you’re sick of waiting for that new Anata.
- Released: 2012
- Label: None
- Website: www.dreamingdead.com
- Elizabeth Schall: vocals, guitar
- Juan Ramirez: bass, backing vocals
- Mike Caffell: drums, backing vocals, samples
- 01. Wake
- 02. Midnightmares
- 03. Overlord
- 04. Corpse Mountain
- 05. In Memoriam
- 06. Lapse
- 07. Into the Abyss
- 08. Exile
- 09. Departure