With their debut album, Modern Grotesque, Dreamwell certainly hit the ground running, full of cathartic, screamo energy that most bands several years into their career wish they could muster. It was enough that the band even got picked up by Prosthetic Records, looking at Dreamwell to capture lightning in a bottle twice with their sophomore effort, In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You.
Looking to expand on their cemented sound, their second release looks outside of their shell in search of new influences from the likes of metalcore and post-hardcore to boost and develop themselves even further.
Taking a complete leftfield turn straight out the gates, a clean guitar riff, seemingly belonging to more of a post-Rock song slowly lulling the listener into a false sense of security as the vocalist, KZ Staska joins in with low pitch clean sounds, before erupting into a Sunbather-esque frenzy of highly distorted screams over this still seemingly clean guitar melody. “Good Reasons To Freeze To Death” works as the perfect place to dive off into the band’s second album.
Dreamwell perfectly demonstrates how to utilise their own genre and use it as a diving board in which to explore a variety of genres, An example of this is shown in “Obelisk of Towers” bringing forth a new influence in the vein of shoegaze. Featuring a soothing melodic segment reminiscent from the likes of Slowdive, interpolating them effortlessly into the screaming mix. The combination of this in turn creates more of a Deftones-styled atmosphere; the serene and chaotic moments mingle with each other in sync with each other. The song will have you wanting to float through the air one moment, and tear your enemies asunder the next without breaking a single beat.
This is taken a step further in the penultimate song “I Dreamt of a Room of Clouds” where Staska’s voice almost seems like Billy Corgan.
All of this reaches a head on the final track, bringing all of the wild chaotic screamo energy into one song, as “Rue de Noms (Could Have Been Better, Should Have Been More)” builds up this phenomenal atmosphere, until finally relenting and unleashing it on the listener. This cathartic rush of energy and emotion washes over you, the screams becoming more shouts, ranting out all their woes into the abyss. The high emotion radiating off Dreamwell’s performance is palpable, as if the entire band are in sync with each other, not just as musicians but as a single living person.
Unlike the first album where the band had to constantly stop and start due to changes in the lineup. In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You was deliberately written and created as a whole project. This is noticeable straight from the start, all the way through the end, the way each song drifts into each other and how thematically cohesive the project is, brings the band to a whole new level. For a band to be able to accomplish this on only their second record is phenomenal, and clearly Dreamwell are the band to be watching in the scene over the next decade as there’s a clear feeling that this album is only the beginning for them.
Buy the album here:
9 / 10