Dreamshade started out as melodic death metal and kept it that way until the release of their debut full-length, “What Silence Hides”. Early this year, exactly two years later, “The Gift Of Life” introduces you to a more mature band, in the sense that it has gotten closer to a more modern shape and therefore broken out from the standard melodic death formula.
A major difference lies in the vocal style: new singer Kevin Cali takes full advantage of his sharp variations between harsh and clean tones, in contrast to the ever growling pitch of his predecessor Enrico Castelli. But since Iko left due to “musical differences”, I believe that Kevin was just what the band was looking for to fit their new direction and not the X-factor for that change.
The first track – and also first video – “Photographs” also shows that adding clean vocals isn’t the only measure taken to enhance the melody. All the instrumental structure is more polished, with a diverse and beautiful guitar work, the tempo more restrained and yet full of life. Which can also be said of “Elisabeth”.
“Your Voice”, on the other hand, merges “the old Dreamshade” with the new, meaning it mixes relentless riffs with melodic breaks. The title-track, “Sandcastles” and “Late Confessions” have embedded some synths/keys of before, but gave them a certain twist in order to make them sound natural in these overall more metalcore tracks. As for “Consumed Future”, the second video and my personal favorite, it’s a combination of heaviness, emotional power and spunk, a kind of best-of of all the elements Dreamshade use throughout this album.
And then there’s also “Our Flame”, the soft song that doesn’t sound like anything else in the album, but liking to admit it or not, every metalhead enjoys a ballad once in a while.
Nothing against classic melodic death metal, but this modern touch that Dreamshade imprinted in their sound serves them much better.
Label: Spinefarm Records
Producer: Jacob Hansen
- Your Voice
- The Gift Of Life
- Consumed Future
- Our Flame
- Late Confessions
- Wants & Needs
I discovered Dreamshade on Myspace and bought this EP as soon as I could. This new band from Switzerland does an excellent job of combining elements of melodic death metal and black metal to create a different melodic sound. As soon as the first few seconds of “Our Buried Secrets” began, I was ready to tear up my room in a frantic mosh. With a hint of brutality, Dreamshade takes the ideas created by In Flames and Dark Tranquility and takes them up a few notches. Their use of keyboards adds a whole new dimension to the music. The keyboards are used heavily in every song, in a fashion similar to Kalmah. Iko, the vocalist, has a voice with a lot of range. He can let low growls and emit high shrieks at just the right time. Riffs: epic. Drums: epic. This band: very epic. This is an excellent sampler of a band with great expectations. The only complaint I have about this EP is the quality, which is to be expected of any band’s first release. The mixing isn’t very good and the vocals sound very raw (because of the recording). However, the music is still quality work and is well worth listening to. I really like how this band modernizes and refreshes melodic death metal genre. I cannot wait to hear their full length album and strongly recommend this album for any fan of melodic death metal.