Dreamwell are back with In My Saddest Dream, I Am Beside You, the follow up to their 2021 debut Modern Grotesque. Taking everything up a level, the band take their sound to the limits in a much harder hitting album. Bringing in influences from all across the heavy end of music the album draws upon metalcore, hardcore and of course screamo.
‘Good Reasons to Freeze to Death’ eases you I with some clean tones to start with, but it doesn’t last long. Drums build up before a blistering screamed chorus is unleashed. ‘Studying the Greats in Self-Immolation’ starts off in a similar fashion to the opening track with clean guitars seamlessly blending together, before it really kicks in. More screams and huge riffs bring the song to a frantic end.
‘Lord Have MRSA On My Soul’ has vocalist KZ Staska effortlessly transitioning between clean vocals and screams, while Anthony Montalbano shines on the drums. ‘All Towers Drawn in the Equatorial Room’ is one of the longer tracks on the album, but will have you gripped from the first second. Aki McCullough and Ryan Couitt combine to create a huge wall of guitars that remains in your face for the whole track.
After the first four tracks it’s very clear Dreamwell aren’t messing around. Each track seems like an experiment in how far they can push themselves, and they succeed in the experiments. The post-hardcore edge isn’t lost at any point, and while In My Saddest Dreams… feels polished there is still an underlying rawness.
‘Obelisk of Hands’ opens with some giant riffs which carry on throughout the track, while the chorus takes a much more melodic turn. The melodic feel carries through into ‘It Will Hurt, and You Won’t Get to Be Surprised’ where Staska is again showing their full vocal power.
‘Blighttown Type Beat’ is a furious as it groovy. Standing out from the rest of the tracks, the song feels more like a straight up hardcore song than anything else on the album – not that we’re complaining. Following that is ‘Body Fountain’ and it’s straight back to the punishing sounds you’ve got used to. With the track only being just over a minute long, no time is wasted with the band throwing everything they’ve got at you.
‘I Dream’t of a Room of Clouds’ has a doom metal/doomgaze feel with the band yet again showing they’re unafraid to explore their sound. ‘Rue De Noms (Could Have Been Better, Should Have Been More)’ closes the album and Justin Soares gets to shine with a bass intro. It’s the longest track on the album, but won’t feel like it with the constant changes of pace.
In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You comes in as a near 50 minute masterpiece. It’ll have you hooked from the start, with each track offering something new upon each listen. Expectations were high following their 2021 debut but Dreamwell have far exceeded them. Combining an outpouring of emotion into heavy songs is no easy task, but on In My Saddest Dreams… it has been done expertly.