Dream On, Dreamer are a five-piece post-hardcore outfit from Australia. With a sound that varies wildly from post-hardcore to metalcore, even dabbling in touches of post-metal here and there, ‘Songs Of Soulitude’ marks the band’s third full-length album, and their first offering on their own away from previous label UNFD.
With serious issues hampering the band’s progress over the last few years (former drummer Aaron Fiocca‘s battle with cancer and frontman Marcel Gadacz‘s discovery of a tumour growing on his spine), they decided to release this record without the support of a label, favouring the DIY approach that has become popular with the creation of sites such as PledgeMusic and Indiegogo.
The first third of the record seems to go by in a bit of a blur with very little that could be classed as memorable. ‘Vertigo’ follows the formulaic approach of harsh-vocalled verses followed by clean choruses a la Bury Tomorrow. What the band lacks in originality is partially compensated by a heavy layer of emotion elevating the track from being merely metalcore by numbers. However, there just doesn’t seem to be a massive amount of substance to keep the listener fully interested throughout.
One of the high points of the album is ‘Malice’, an uncompromisingly catchy song fusing a hook-laden chorus with a tremendous beatdown two thirds through. But this momentum is soon drowned by a mid-section which tones down the overall heaviness in favour of more melodic post-hardcore acoustic sounds. ‘Snowpiercer’ sounds like a samey Deftones, while ‘Delirium’, despite containing a decent emotive balance, meanders and plods through its three and a half minute duration before fizzling out to an unspectacular conclusion.
The inconsistency continues through to the final third of the record. ‘Open Sun’ picks up the pace with grizzly vocals, a passionate spoken word section and a brilliantly executed beatdown, before ‘Violent Pictures’ closes the record with a whimper, delivering a bleak acoustic-led guitar track sounding almost completely different from everything that has occurred before it.
With the previously mentioned health issues surrounding the band, the record definitely reflects these issues with a dark undertone of despair and suffering running through it. But, with Australia producing a vast array of decent bands over the last five years, it’s hard to recommend Dream On, Dreamer over bands such as The Amity Affliction, In Hearts Wake, or Feed Her To The Sharks. If you prefer your heavy music with touches of subtlety and varying levels of sonic complexity, then this may be right up your street. However, there’s not a lot here for the average listener to remember long after the record has ended.
Written by Neil Criddle