Dream On, Dreamer


Written by: BL on 02/08/2013 01:35:20

I remember once seeing Dream On, Dreamer perform live and after the show I spoke to their now ex-bassist/clean vocalist Michael "Mcoy" McLeod about their last album "Heartbound". He shared the same enthusiastic opinion with me about what we enjoyed most from that record - the latter, more ambitious and melodic half of the album (also the half where he sang a lot more coincidentally), and back then we both wanted Dream On, Dreamer to take a bigger step that direction. Despite his departure from the band and the subsequent lineup reshuffle, I think we got our wish. "Loveless" is simultaneously familiar yet also refreshingly genuine with big melodies and a big heart.

Immediately it's obvious the symphonic and electronic elements from "Heartbound" have been stripped back a little for a more bare, simplistic and organic sound. Not only that but on the album named opener we see a new, more melodic hardcore approach of building tension towards climax - simple clean guitar melodies an early backdrop for vocalists Marcel Gadacz's tortured screams and new boy Zachary Britt's dream like clean vocals before the heavy guitars crashes through like a bursting dam. "The World In Front Of Me" and "Foundations" on the other hand sees the welcomed return of pulsating tapped lead guitars I was terrifically fond of on their last outing, intricately weaving their way past one desolate landscape after another. The rhythm section is surprising varied for what is essentially a calculated mix of low tuned riffs with dissonant chords and breakdowns, hard to imagine I know but it compliments the higher pitched tones - a canvas for the melodies to spill their colour. "Infinity" impresses even further - leading you by hand through enthralling melodic choruses, devastingly urgent heavy mid sections and a sweeping finale into what feels like being pulled through stars in the sky.

"Hear Me Out" feels like a continuation of the spacey imagery - weightlessly staring back at the world, floating and still save for Britt's distanced yet intimate voice, steadily displaced with progressively thick walls of guitars and screams. This afforded room allows one to reflect on lyrics which may not explore new subject matter entirely, but still evoke sentiments of heartache, separation and despair ("When I looked into your eyes life lost its meaning" and "We always wake up from the deepest of our dreams just a little late"), but ultimately glimmers of hope - "I've got my hands on my heart so I feel alive". Similar themes are correlated throughout "Neverlove" and the darkened "Moving On, Moving Far", the latter especially characterized by the strength gained from being able to move on. "Evol" on the otherhand, is less positive but no less provoking - a dangerous addiction to a love that can change who you are. No matter what the words may be anyway, the soundtrack of dancing lead guitars and weighted distortion remains a constant and vivid factor throughout.

We're now racing towards the finish with "Black Maine", where tempo feels higher as the exchanges between the two vocalists become more quick fire and desperate. The highlight comes in the form of a lull amid echoes of "Follow you home" shortly before an emotionally charged outro takes us to our conclusion. Finale "The Tracks We Left Behind" is everything exciting we've come to know about "Loveless" and is the longest song Dream On, Dreamer have probably released. There's one more effective climatic buildup before the final stretch and it's the best yet - one last rallying call before marching into the horizon, into the unknown.

Dream On, Dreamer have taken a tired existing musical framework beaten to the point of death, and managed to breathe some life into it. As a result, we have a solid album that is more than a mere collection of typical post-hardcore easily forgotten - "Loveless" can come alive at times. It isn't quite perfect because there are unfortunately few surprises if you know what to expect, but at least it does what it's good at very well with some great compositional awareness. If all else, "Loveless" should hopefully leave a feeling that prospects for this ailing genre may not be so bleak afterall.


Download: Foundations, Infinity, The Tracks We Left Behind
For the fans of: The Color Morale, In Fear And Faith, The Amity Affliction

Release date 28.06.2013

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