posted on 6/2012 By:
If anything. Dreaming Dead screams dedication. On their self-released second album, this trio attempts to steamroll with the same thrashy, melodic death metal formula that was forged on their debut. Unfortunately, Midnightmares is bound by the same shackles that hampered its predecessor's mobility: For all the bitchin' riffs that are packed into this thing, there's a maddening lack of legit song structure, storytelling arc, or anything that could render the album something greater than a linear string of, well, bitchin' riffs.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. Dreaming Dead is a guitar-first band, Midnightmares is a guitar-first album, and on these levels, success is achieved. While the rhythm section plunks along and guitarist/vocalist Elizabeth Schall unleashes her vaguely Schuldineresque rasps with relative abandon, her guitar parts are undoubtedly the focal point. Each song boasts at least one fuck-yeah riff ("Into The Depths," in particular, boasts a championship-caliber crusher), and instrumentals "In Memoriam" and "Departure" steal the show by expertly weaving between the relentless and the wrenching.
If the vocal-clad tracks held as much emotional weight as these evocative instrumentals, Midnightmares would have stronger legs to stand on. However, Schall's guitar-up-your-ass ethos isn't matched by her ability to pen memorable hooks. As such, we have another Dreaming Dead album that assaults with fervor, but doesn't leave much in the way of lasting damage.
Impressive, yet fleeting...but at least they leave you wanting more.
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