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DREAMING DEAD (fka MANSLAUGHTER) - Through the Eyes of Insanity


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)