Dreaming Dead are a metal band from Los Angeles, California, and “Midnightmares” is their second album. Their Facebook page lists them as metal, which is rather vague, and Encyclopaedia Metallum calls them melodic death metal. The harsh vocals of Elizabeth Schall certainly qualifies them for death metal status, but the music sounds to me more like old Dissection with all those fast, melodic guitars.
By the time I reached the second track Dreaming Dead had won me over. With as much music as I listen to these days, I can generally tell if I am going to hate something within the first few seconds of hearing music and vocals together. One would think that bands would open an album or demo with their best material first, so if the first thirty seconds are terrible I do not honestly see any reason to keep listening. Generally I will skip around a little, to give bands the benefit of the doubt, but most of the time the opinion has already solidified. If a band makes it past the first thirty seconds then it probably has something of value to offer me, it is then just a matter of deciding how much I like them. Well, in the case of Dreaming Dead, I like them quite a lot.
I enjoyed the fast, frenetic music that was heavy enough to throw me into a mosh, yet technical and melodic enough to appeal to my inner music nerd. It does not surprise me as much as it used to, but I still do a mental double-take when I come across hot metal women that sing with a formidable harsh vocal style. I cannot quite decide whether to be attracted or run in fear lol. Schall’s vocals sound perfect overtop of the music.
The production quality on “Midnightmares” sounds above average for this style of metal, so no worries in that department. There are nine songs that fill up 41 minutes. My one complaint about the album is the track, “In Memoriam.” There is nothing wrong with the track itself, it is an instrumental and a pretty good one at that, but the placement in the album killed the momentum. It is a much slower track than the rest of the songs (with the exception of the closing instrumental track, “Departure” which might be even slower.) Maybe they were hoping to give the listener a chance to take a breather, but for me, it brought the album to a crawl. I was going to say it would have been better to place it as the last track, but that spot is already filled with an instrumental. Anyway, it is not a big deal, just something that stood out to me.
All in all, I enjoyed “Midnightmares.” Check out Dreaming Dead on their site, Facebook, or check out the video below for the track “Overlord.”