Dreaming Dead – “Funeral Twilight” (Hammerheart Records)
Now onto their 3rd release and fast rising out’ve the LA underground comes Dreaming Dead, fronted by guitarist / vocalist Elizabeth Schall (also active in Cretin) and drummer Mike Caffell (also active in Terrorizer LA), along with guitarist Chris McCarthy (also active in Murder Construct) and William Palacios-Toledo on bass. Although described as a ‘blackened thrash / death metal band’ I’d say that’s something of an understatement given what’s on offer here, as songs like ‘Unseeing’ and ‘Remnants Of A Time Long Forgotten’ are reverb drenched doom melancholia with a strong epic tone! For the main though, the rest of the 6 tracks draw heavily from the technical thrash era of Atheist, Sadus, Cynic and of course, Death themselves during their techno era. Characterized by experimentation involving jazz fusion elements, unconventional time signatures and even prog, Dreaming Dead have gone further in also fusing in the chugging punkerola of the Misfits along with nihilistic Slayer thrash on the aptly titled ‘Buried’. It’s all carried enthusiastically by Schall’s own sick screamo and Palacios-Toledo’s hefty hewn bass as you hear the strings crack plentifully on the likes of ‘Beyond The Black Moon’. Chris McCarthy, brilliantly complemented by Mike Caffell’s technical and masterfully unflagging drum work, drives the material forcefully using speed runs, slow heaviness and heaps of bountiful melodies to ensure there is not a dull moment on this highly catchy album. Reputedly a powerful live band, “Funeral Twilight” is LA’s answer to underground mediocrity and mainstream banality!