Dreaming Dead
Within One

Wow – what a raging blackened death thrash beast this debut is from L.A. based Dreaming Dead! At its core (no pun – there’s no ‘core in site here), Within One is a vicious thrash assault with splashes of melody throughout, excellent guitar work all around, busy, blasting drums, blackened vocals, and a definite old-school feel all wrapped up in a clear and balanced yet raw and gritty production. I had already spun the album 6-7 times before I had discovered those raspy, croaking vocals were coming from a woman – Elizabeth Schall – and not only that as she also serves as the bands guitarist.

One aspect I really like about the album is they’ve got it wrapped up in just 8 tracks across approximately 40 minutes – no needless intros, outros or interludes. They get the ball rolling with “Stairs into the Vortex”, opening with a galloping thrash rhythm that abruptly gives way to a blast driven verse and back again. Their versatility begins to show on the follow up title track, where more melody comes into play, alternating with, or sometimes laid over the top of blasting segments. “Putrid is the Sky” explores some slower tempos, coming off as kind of doom-y and melodic after a clean picked, somber sounding intro. The second half of the song however, kicks into full gear with some rigid and speedy riffing accompanied by more blasting. “Cursed” and “Shadows in the Dark” bring the speed and gallop back, the latter of which bears a strong Deceased vibe at times, but “Perpetual Pretext” introduces some fantastic death metal groove between thrashing parts. The best of the lot however is album closer “Manslaughter” (which, in title at least, is an ode to the bands past, as they were originally called Manslaughter before settling on the H.P. Lovecraft inspired Dreaming Dead), beginning with the sound of rain and rolling thunder, an eerie and excellent clean picked guitar is introduced and builds, later joined by bass and drums. At the 3:30 mark, the song just explodes into death thrash chaos, topped off with a scathing vocal performance.

Ms. Schall can solo too – and not just mindless shred – there is some tasteful lead work scattered all over the album, but the solo work in “Putrid is the Sky”, “Shadows in the Dark”, “Cursed”, “Perpetual Pretext”, and “Manslaughter” is exceptionally good.

Some might think “female vocalist – another gimmick band” but nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, she is pretty damn good looking, but the woman is honest to Dio talented. Convincing black/death vocals (which if you didn’t know better, could mistake for a guy), exceptional and varied riffing and great lead work – no cutesy shit here – this is mean and nasty metal through and through.

All in all, I was taken aback somewhat by how good this is for a debut. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard a full on death thrash album done so convincingly, let alone for a first album. Dreaming Dead may not have reinvented the wheel here, but Within One feels pretty fresh and is all aces in delivery and execution. Don’t miss this one, it’s a keeper.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
January 27th, 2009


  1. Commented by: axiom

    Wow, this I must hear.

  2. Commented by: Paul

    Sounds like the logical successor to Corporation 187’s perfect “perfection in pain” album. Did those guys ever do a followup to that?

  3. Commented by: Dan

    This isn’t bad at all. Definitely headbangable. A few cool riffs. Not nuts about the vocals though.

    Corporation 187 dropped ‘Newcomers of Sin’ last year and from what could tell from the 1 or 2 tracks I heard, they took the speed down a few notches to try and “diversify” their sound. Reviews I read weren’t so positive either.

  4. Commented by: E. Thomas

    This was in one of my recent hauls- fucking kicks ass

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