Dreaming Dead – Within One

dreamingdead-within1This looks totally like a Napalm Records release due to the really bad graphic design on the cover, featuring a woman (a Napalm staple that they think helps sell their products) conjuring some sort of spell over an unsuspecting Humpty Dumpty looking manchild. If I saw this in the record shop, I’d look at it long enough to chuckle, then wince in horror at the thought of yet another lame woman led band sprinkling their goth laced pretentiousness throughout the metal world. Thankfully in the case of Los Angeles’ Dreaming Dead, looks can be deceiving. “Within One” is actually quite an effective, death metal influenced and very modern sounding release. Slick to the hilt, but the riffs and arrangements tend to be very smart and sharp to the ear. There’s an undeniable aggression here that wants to maintain direct ties with the death metal underground, but the polished production keeps this from going too far beneath the tundra. Highly skilled musicians keep the riffs technically interesting while maintaining a sense for memorable riffs and song writing. DD offers some well sculpted harmonies to coexist alongside more searing moments of tremolo based rhythms and tight, moshless crunching. “Within One” benefits from nice tempo pacing as well not only within the songs, but throughout the album, finding the band sticking mainly to energetic mids, throwing in precision blast work when the song and intensity level really needs to ignite. Love her, or love to hate her, if Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy) has done anything, she has shown women in metal that they don’t have to be the “pretty” voice in the band. In Dreaming Dead, founding member and screamer Elizabeth Schall keeps it brutal throughout this discs entirety, making sure her delivery is just as dynamic and diverse as the music she empowers. Her main delivery is a higher register, nearly black metal inspired screaming style that is clear and vicious. She’ll throw in deeper growls when the need arises, keeping the listener interested in her vocal abuse. I’m often not on board with bands that uphold the precise edge of modern death metal, but I’ve found myself spinning Dreaming Dead quite a bit this past week due to their interesting musical structures, impressive musicianship, and fire for upholding extreme metal. –Marty

IBEX MOON

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~ by martyworm on January 25, 2009.

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