What happens if a non-practising metal fan meets an EP for the first time? Well, you can check it out in our peculiar review about Dreamgrave’s new material.
While organizing this November’s schedule in our editorial office all I could think about was venturing out of my comfort zone and writing about a band that is off my beaten path.
This is how I found Dreamgrave, a metal band residing in Szeged. Usually I would call myself a true musical omnivore, my YouTube playlists are literally filled with everything from experimental hip-hop beats to stoner rock wonders with some classical music and jazz sprinkled in there, but even with this colorful range representing all kinds of music behind my back there was always one genre that I always failed to get myself into and that is Metal. There was a time while I really tried to get into this but it still remained a musical ‘black hole’ for me through all these years. So now I can confidentially say that the first part of Dremgrave’s Monuments EP trilogy The Anxious is my most listened metal album of my career.
When a band chooses to release smaller and more frequent EP’s instead of a big studio album is a choice I can get behind and I think it helps them a great deal as the recordings shorter length helps them captivating bigger and more diverse audiences while also being able to constantly keep the band’s relevancy high. On the other hand, rewards never come without some risk and this frequent exposure can rapidly make the band stale and result in them fading away into nothingness.
I hope that this is not what will happen to Dreamgrave and these 5 professional musicians and they will find the success they intended with this approach and with their beautiful EP cover that bears two-toned purple and black design that you can find below. So let’s jump in to the most important part of this review, the music itself.
My personal favorite is the EP’s opening track, ‘Drop The Curtain’, where the soft voice of the lead female singer instantly starts to caress our ears and soon after all the instruments join in building up the song and supporting this angelic voice to the climax where a powerful male voice kicks the door on us. The instrumental part following this climax didn’t really touch me but the returning beautiful female voice at the end saved this song and made it a complete story for me.
The next song, ‘Monuments’, greatly surprised me with its jazz influenced intro but the sudden change to screaming and growling has eased my enthusiasm a bit. This track didn’t resonate with me but that might be due to the fact that I always have strong expectations from the songs that give their names to represent the whole album. As soon as it starts to pull us in with the opening riff it takes a U-turn and I don’t have time to discover as the song takes me to a completely different place. This track made out of a dozen different ideas that might have deserved separate songs on their own.
I have the same feeling with the last song, ‘The Passing Faith in Others’: we have a strong opening again with nice notes of a violin that starts to build it up and a perfect mix of the female and male vocals also appears. But as soon as I began thinking of looking for more artists in this genre, we got to a long instrumental part followed by another one, while I was waiting for the magic to return that captivated me in the beginning of the song but sadly it never did.
I also have to mention the switching of the language after a long pause at the end – serving kind of like an outro – which I found useless. I guess if you start a song in one language, it’s the best way finishing it without any changes. So I really don’t understand how this part could make it on this (otherwise) really interesting and absolutely professional album.
To wrap it up as someone that really couldn’t get in this genre before I can say that I was pleasurably surprised how some parts of this album really resonated with me. But I often felt that they want to tell a thousand stories in each song and fill them full of different ideas. Despite all this I still think that Dreamgrave still has a huge potential and can move the crowd. I was happy to deeply drive myself in to a metal album but I strongly feel as this will stay as my most listened artist in this genre for a long time.
EDITED by Károly Gergely