Dreaming Dead
Funeral Twilight

Lets be honest. There is simply too much metal out there nowadays for a fan to stay on top of it all. Thirty years ago? No problem. Twenty years ago? Difficult, but still do-able. Today? Fuhgeddaboudit… Even the most devout of metal collectors (which most us are) will find it nigh impossible to stay afloat of just a fraction of the extreme metal available.

Case in point, Dreaming Dead. I’ve been aware of the band’s existence for awhile now. I’ve even checked out past material with the intent of purchase. Though whatever the reason, I have yet to acquire any of their releases or even heard an entire full-length until now, with their third full-length release, Funeral Twilight. Something I will definitely have to rectify, as I found Funeral Twilight highly enjoyable with their blend of death, thrash, and progressive metal. Culling a sound that blends heavily, both musically and vocally, from bands such as Death, Pestilence, Atheist, Ripping Corpse, Hate Eternal, and Astarte;   more than just a sum of their influences, Dreaming Dead know how to deliver the goods.

Eight songs in total make up Funeral Twilight, the album clocking in at a compact twenty-nine minutes. The track listing and flow I like a lot, seeming to be a bit more thought out than slapped together like some bands are guilty of. The album’s vocal laced tracks are separated into halves by instrumental “Remnants of a Time Long Forgotten”; a short, simple, doom drenched chord driven number with a nice and slow Katatonia like melody. Backing it up a it, album opener, “Your Grave” does a good job at setting the mood for things to come, with its tremolo picked riffs and just enough technical flair weaving seamlessly behind and between evocative and emotive solo work. One can strongly hear the Death/Chuck Schuldiner style of writing is a big influence for  Dreaming Dead guitarist/vocalist, Elizabeth Schall, on the album’s title track. With a wonderful “Death” hook, and a nice brutality, rather than “brootality”, the song moves and flows with a purpose other than decapitations and corpse molestations. The lead work is impressive and the rhythms flow in smooth blackened flavored melodies that are never overpowering. “No Masters” continues to impress with a bass beginning followed by rhythm and lead juxtaposing veering into blasty fields. Progressive like in its approach, weaving deathly riffs around bass that shines nicely in the mix, the guitar work is somewhat ethereal, as the drums truly keep the majority of the intensity. The song achieving a feeling of teetering on the brink of something larger and/or cataclysmic.

  Funeral Twilight‘s “second half”, after the aforementioned “Remnants of a Time Long Forgotten”, seems to possess a bit less memorability than the album’s first three tracks, but more than makes up for any loss of groove with an increased viciousness and intensity. Fast, blasting drums and grinding death riffs open up “Widowed”, hinting at Schall’s guitarist role in Cretin having a tad bit of bleed over influence to Dreaming Dead. The dual vocal attack at times is a nice touch, as well as the pulling back of the grinding just long enough to let some old school metal soloing shine. “Buried” continues to bring the blasts, as drummer, Mike Caffell, really propels not only this track, but the music as a whole on the entire album. His skills are impressive and the man is furiously tight within the material. Blastbeats, bass and rung chords create quite the setting for some tasty soloing and straight up rocking out to come in and tear things up before shifting flawlessly back to speedier, deathly realms. As one might assume from just the title alone, “Beyond the Black Moon” has more of a blackened feel going for it. The track has a solid groove prevailing amongst the blackened thrash, with dual vocals again helping bring added power and intensity in certain spots, while the song’s faux stop and continued groove at the 3:26 mark is simply awesome.

The band close out Funeral Twilight with instrumental “Unseeing”, a good track in reality, but a bit of a letdown to my ears. The song builds slowly and emotionally in the simple effective guitar, almost trance inducing in its peacefulness. The 2:11 mark brings slides of power as drums and chords come together in  wonderfully basic explosions. Unfortunately, the instrumental fails to deliver on the emotive buildups captured, leaving “Unseeing” in a heap of “what if”. Like I said, it’s a good track, but being the longest song on the album, I felt a little more of an aural payoff was due.

Obviously, I enjoyed Funeral Twilight. It’s a damn good album. Blackened, but not black. Thrashy, but not thrash. Melodic death infused, but with more of a sinister angularity than melo-death typically coveys. While it won’t have you singing the praises of a new Celtic Frost or Death or the likes of, it is easily, an impressive and pummeling listen. The songs are there, not just the same derivative banality served over and over.

Maybe this album just came as a bit of fresh air from the massive amounts of horror/gore metal I had been listening to at the time of this review. Or maybe, Dreaming Dead are just a top notch, quality band. A band that has yet to be really recognized as the formidable act that they are. An act that seems to be poised to push it further in that next level of the ‘ol international metal scene, with their best material still to come.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
May 19th, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: diggedy1

    Very funny, the digital DL on the camp of band is only $500 USD, lol! Great band, I dig how the spirit of Chuck still flows throughout the metal world.


  2. Commented by: Grindymcgrinder

    Can’t do it the vocals are atrocious.


  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    dude the melodic riff around the middle of the linked track is fucking disgusting. awesome.


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