With current and former members of EXHAUSTED PRAYER and WINTERTHRALL in their ranks, L.A.’s own DREAMING DEAD have delivered an impressive, well executed debut of quality metal on their debut Within One. DREAMING DEAD‘s sound is a well balanced mixture of blackened death thrash that borrows freely from each of those genres and combines them into a seamless, potent blend. “Stairs into the Vortex” alternates between chugging thrash and blistering blast beats from drummer Mike Caffel. In contrast, “Putrid is the Sky” with its misleading title offers up melodic, elegant passages that highlight the band’s dynamic prowess. “Cursed” the counters with some strong DISSECTION-worship, complemented by vocalist axeshredder Liz Elliot‘s harsh vocal rasps and electrifying Jon Nodveidt-inspired solo that sounds a long lost track from The Somberlain. Epic closer “Manslaughter” offers the album’s centerpiece. It’s a song that covers a variety of peaks and valleys; from its subtle, ominous intro, monstrous power chords, and twisting riff arrangements before arriving at an OPETH-inspired climax. All in all, a strong debut of carefully arranged and plotted songs that bode well for the future of the underground L.A. metal scene. (Ibex Moon Records)
While most young bands never end up leaving the local circuit, Los Angeles’ DREAMING DEAD broke out of the L.A. bubble with their sharp, DISSECTION-like metallics, dedication, and hard work. Led by talented frontwoman, Elizabeth Elliot, who’s both a vicious screamer and masterful shredder, DREAMING DEAD has already toured the U.S. in support of their debut album, Within One. Their perseverance continues to pay off as the band are currently on tour with NILE, IMMOLATION, and KRISIUN. Before the band hit the road, APESHIT spoke to Elizabeth to find out more about DREAMING DEAD and how they came to be.
From the musical cesspool that is Los Angeles, emerges one of the better bands in the local metal scene. The band is comprised of Elizabeth Schall (vocals, guitars, bass) and Mike Caffell (drums) who are notable for their former and current work in THE IRON MAIDENS/WINTERTHRALL and EXHAUSTED PRAYER, respectively. Stylistically, DREAMING DEAD play a varying mix of melodic Swedish death/black, thrash, and death metal. Lead track, “Cursed,” sounds as if it was plucked out of the vaults of mid to late 90’s Swedish death/black metal, complete with blazing melancholic melodies. “Shadows in the Dark” has sweet riffs that provide plenty of active and busy rhythmic movement. “War Machine” has a strong dark tone that only becomes more ferocious towards the song’s conclusion. The EP’s final song, “Manslaughter,” explores a more subtle and melancholic side of DREAMING DEAD with its clean electric guitars. But that peace is eventually broken when the song transitions into a fireball of energy that carries a good feeling of finality. Elizabeth Schall sounds a lot like DEATH‘s Chuck Shuldiner but more specifically the Evil Chuck from the band’s early days. She also provides some nice lower growls ala DEICIDE to help layer and accentuate certain vocal lines. Drummer Mike Caffell lays down a solid performance with plenty of busy drum work that provides for some nice ear candy. With the solid songwriting and musicianship on display here, DREAMING DEAD‘s first full-length, which is scheduled to be recorded next month, should be an even stronger statement of the band’s arrival. (self-released)