Dreamgrave
Presentiment

In the wash-up of 2014 there were inevitably a number of notable under the radar releases that slipped through the net here at Teeth of the Divine. One such later year discovery that I particularly wanted to highlight was the debut album from a young progressive metal outfit. Hungarian band Dreamgrave released an accomplished debut full-length in the form of the excellent Presentiment and for those inclined towards dynamically written and skilfully performed progressive metal this is an album that you should not let pass you by.  Presentiment features eight sprawling movements that showcase the young band’s flair for writing dramatic, complex and interesting progressive metal compositions that don’t skimp on the aggression.

The musicianship is both playful and creative which is made all the more impressive due to the fact their accomplished chops are attached to quality songs. And the musical territory the band confidently explores is most impressive, covering a range of styles and influences, evoking heavyweight bands past and present such as Dream Theater, Opeth, My Dying Bride, Orphaned Land and Children of Bodom.  Fortunately Dreamgrave use these influences as merely reference points, cultivating a unique sound with their proggy core taking centre stage. From weighty doom wallops, to soaring prog dramatics, jazzy noodling and searing death metal surges, Dreamgrave leave no stone unturned in their quest for creating immensely powerful and dynamic progressive metal.

While the inventive dual guitar work demands plenty of attention and praise, the tasteful use of keyboards and aggressive and nuanced backbone of the rhythm section adds further firepower to the Dreamgrave arsenal. The powerhouse vocal performance of Dömötör Gyimesi and Mária Molnár creates a fine balance between the gruff roars of the former and angelic beauty of the latter. Molnár’s emotive, operatic cleans are beautifully worked into the fray, often in tandem or cleverly layered with Gyimesi’s strong growls or measured cleans. The dramatic “Ethereal Eternity” serves as the album’s intro, building tension which is eventually released into the first proper track, “Black Spiral”. This is the first genuine taste of Dreamgrave’s intoxicating formula and it’s pretty fucking spectacular, weaving an unpredictable and complex route that remains pleasingly cohesive. “Memento Mori” features dazzling progressive passages and jazzy freakouts, eventually simmering down into a beguiling mellow segment with gentle piano, acoustic guitars and some wonderful vocal harmonies.

The mostly lengthy compositions largely avoid the overblown traits that can so often derail prog bands, whilst remaining musically interesting and epic in scope. The sublime “The Last Drop Falls” is one of the more fully fleshed out and impeccably arranged tracks on offer, blending some downright heavy moments with tricky time signatures, hefty grooves and soaring melody.  Meanwhile the dynamic and wildly unpredictable “False Sense of Confidence” should be a mess but is masterfully arranged into an epic and beautifully worked jam. Overall, for all its many strengths, there’s definitely room for improvement here. Certain songs and segments flow more seamlessly than others, while some more ruthless editing would have tightened up the finished package.  However the band’s supreme songwriting skills and musical ability rises well above the album’s minor flaws.

Respectably self-produced by the band, Presentiment has a fairly full, rich sound that is serviceable enough, although I would like to see them working under the guidance of a good producer to develop their sound further on future releases. For now Dreamgrave have well and truly established themselves as a fresh and exciting new voice in the prog metal scene.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
March 2nd, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    I could swear I have seen that exact same album cover before on another metal album.


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