“Within One” by Dreaming Dead

Artist: Dreaming Dead
Title: “Within One”
Label: Ibex Moon Records
Release Date: 1/20/2009
Genre: Blackened Thrash Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

“Within One” is the powerful debut CD from California’s Dreaming Dead and it comes to us on Ibex Moon Records. The band is an interesting mix of Old School Thrash Metal meets a crushing Black Metal/Death Metal crossover and judging by the musical chops laid down on the release it is clear that the band is good at what they do. Fronted by guitarist/vocalist Elizabeth Schall, the band offers up several quick comparisons in style and theme. There is a lot of the vocal style of Cradle Of Filth’s Dani being done by Elizabeth and that intrigued me especially with her being female. It’s not a tone that I expected to come from a woman but she also sings in the conventional guttural growl that fans of this kind of band would expect in such a band. It opens with the uncompromising “Stairs Into The Vortex” and with this one the band immediately draws you into the mayhem that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the rest of the release. Elements of bands like Death and Slayer abound and maybe a little Opeth for good measure based on the creative melodic changes and interludes that they present. It was cool to find slow changes and mellower sections coming into play before the blistering blast beat drumming on tracks like “Putrid Is The Sky” and this one is perhaps my first favorite on the release. Elizabeth is joined on guitar by Leslie Medina which makes the outfit equal parts male and female and I had to say that it was really cool to find two female members in a band of this kind as opposed to their being another symphonic thing where the girls are singing opera or playing keyboards. While I love those kinds of bands, I just mean that it is nice to see some serious ass kicking being done by women in a Metal band that is an up and comer. It’s also good for the young female singers to be who aspire more to the like of Angela Gossow than Tarja Turunen or Annette Olzon.

The capable guitar work is complimented by some insanely powerful drumming care of Mike Caffell who demonstrates a number of different Metal skills all across the album and with Juan Ramirez on bass the entire project is held together firmly. Fans of technical Metal that borderlines on the extreme will enjoy this band and find tunes like “Shadows In The Dark” and “Perpetual Pretext” as their favorites based on the numerous time signature changes and grooves. “Cursed” has a lot of that pure Black Metal feel to it and I was instantly reminded of riffs from the glory days of Emperor and their kind when it began to play. The albums eight tracks ends with “Manslaughter” which oddly enough the groups original name before running with Dreaming Dead, and while it begins with slow guitar and moody thunder in the background it soon becomes a Thrash Metal feast that will get the bodies moving on the floor during a performance. This was a great CD and the band really has some potential based on what they showcased here. I look forward to their development and hope to be able to catch them doing this stuff in the live sense soon. Recommended for fans of the darker Thrash and definitely those who enjoy levels of Extreme or Blackened Death type of stuff. There is not a boring moment on the album which was a refreshing change. The cover and artwork were provided by Travis Smith who many know full well from the stuff he had done for Opeth over the years.

Track Listing:
1. Stairs Into The Vortex
2. Within One
3. Putrid Is The Sky
4. Shadows In The Dark
5. Cursed
6. War Machine
7. Perpetual Pretext
8. Manslaughter

Official Website: http://www.myspace.com/dreamingdead

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