Dream Death


Still crazy good after all these years

dB Rating: 8/10

Release Date: March 4th, 2016
Label: Rise Above

Three years since their last record, nearly 30 years since their record before that (their first), and Dream Death are better than relevant. They’re defiant. Journey Into Mystery, the proto-death/doom band’s debut, was for many years believed to be ahead of its time. By now, enough time has passed, and still no one’s doing it like Dream Death. So, Dissemination only further distinguishes the Pittsburgh quartet from the throngs of today’s blackened death atmospherophiliacs and candle-lit cavern cults. Plainly put, Dream Death are better than ever.

Sounding somewhere between Cathedral-era Lee Dorrian and late-’80s Tom Araya, guitarist/vocalist Brian Lawrence is still scrambling to fit his lyrics into the licks, and he still rules. Mike Smail’s internationally renowned drumming prowess will absolutely detonate your skull (hear: “Dominion”), but his work is here slightly bridled so as to better support the immense heaviness of the new songs. Guitar solos are sewn into the leather fabric of the tracks only to embroider the larger work. Themes dealing with modern ennui, irrepressible guilt and misanthropic disgust toward the gluttonous masses supplant the whimsical B horror movie-inspired lyrics of Dream Death’s past. Hence the title.

Veteran musicians or not, the level of maturity and cooperation on display here is just remarkable. Dissemination is a record that will remind you again and again why you got into metal. Because, most importantly, it’s cathartic. And beyond their staggering talent, their die-hard riffs and their perfectly written songs, Dream Death have something that many bands today lack: sincerity.

— Dutch Pearce

For more on Dream Death, don’t miss the April 2016 issue, which includes a full-page profile on the band, as well as the above review. The issue can also be purchased digitally via our app for iPad/iPhone and Android.