Saturday, 15 July 2017

Dream Awake - Don't Hold Your Breath EP


Tracklist:

1. The Weathering (Feat. Wes Thompson of Napoleon)
2. Mind's Eye
3. Cataclysm
4. T.O.D (Feat. Christina Rotondo)
5. Heavy Heart

Posts have been a little hit and miss this month so far and I need to get my reviewing momentum back. Hopefully the second EP from Belfast's Dream Awake will help with that. The metalcore quintet formed in 2014, when they released their debut EP "Pathfinder". This new EP sees them pushing on from tour slots with Carcer City and Napoleon, whose vocalist Wes Thompson appears on the opening track. Their recent set at Download Festival was one of their biggest shows to date and did their reputation no harm at all.

EP opener The Weathering is typically grand with a building clean guitar intro and dual harsh/clean vocals. The song is mid-paced and the production is clean and clear, which suits their sound and doesn’t take too much away from their heaviness. Electronic touches here and there do bring to mind some of America’s recent metalcore bands, which no doubt have influenced Dream Awake. My only criticism after listening to the first song is that it could have had a bit more impact as an opener. Mind’s Eye is more off-kilter and definitely has a more post-hardcore feel to it. It’s punchy and catchier with melodic vocals layered throughout the song, while the breakdowns are used sparsely but effectively to add subtle brutality. They take their sound down a more metal path on Cataclysm, with double bass and crunching riffs. It reminds me more of bands like Soilwork due to the more traditional heavy verse/melodic chorus structure. It’s good. Their momentum only increases with T.O.D, which sees their song-writing and focus really growing. Christina Rotondo’s vocals are a nice addition to the song as well, making it my standout on the EP. Closing song Heavy Heart is similar in approach to the opener and is nearly six minutes long. It’s a strong finish to the EP though and definitely makes use of Dream Awake’s more experimental edge. Overall “Don’t Hold Your Breath” is a strong EP that demonstrates Dream Awake’s modern sound. It’ll appeal more to younger listeners who’re in to modern metalcore but will certainly increase their audience. 

You can stream and download "Don't Hold Your Breath" from all the usual digital outlets, while you can pre-order it and pick up merch via Dream Awake here - http://www.dreamawake.co.uk.

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