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Album Review: Dreamshade – Vibrant

Switzerland’s Dreamshade give their energetic take on relationships in Vibrant.

 

Text Review:

Everyone has had some type of relationship in their life that they will never forget.  Whether it’s with a family member, friend or lover, whether good or bad, everyone will always at the very least have one that will shape their identity for years to come.  There have been countless artists and musicians that have expressed themselves about this and now Switzerland’s Dreamshade are giving their take on it.  The band’s third full album Vibrant is an album intending to reflect on relationships of all kinds with a deep edge.  For those who may be unfamiliar with the band, Dreamshade has been an active group since their formation in 2006 and although they have had several lineup changes, the band has been known for extremely well-produced, polished and pristine music from guitar solos and deep rhythms to vocal delivery and writing.  There are some conflicting opinions about what people like.  An album that sounds raw and uncut, or an album that saw a lot of time in studio and production working on every detail.  Listening to Dreamshade however will make a strong point for the latter in just how well constructed and clear their music comes across in their recording.

Going back to the theme of relationships, there needs to be not only direction but time and consideration dedicated to the lyrics.  Otherwise you’ll have a grown man complaining about his parents and classmates from twenty years ago.   It’s in this sense that time spent writing and in production can really show the proof of work when hearing a song about a broken relationship and just how much it can connect with the listener.  Vibrant has been a long time in the works, with the album’s lead single “Dreamers Don’t Sleep” being released over a year and half ago.  Although it’s over a year old, this song leaves enough proof to give a great introduction to new listeners and an example of what the album will contain.  With the repeated line of “Dreaming makes me feel alive”, Dreamshade create something memorable in this song.

“Dreamers Don’t Sleep” has a fierce delivery that is highlighted by fantastic riffs from the guitars.  Lyrically there are many memorable lines that make you think about your own life in a sense of urgency.  The vocals go from smooth the ferocious almost instantly while not feeling disjointed.  Every element in the song feels like it belongs and stands out perfectly.  The guitar work in this song and many others on Vibrant are what carry a majority of the album.  There is a feeling of consistency from both guitarists Fernando and Rocco.  In tracks like “Autumn Leaves” and “Oceantides” you can hear how the guitars and writing make several speed changes to add a good dynamic to the songs and they sound natural.  While the guitars add many levels of varying speeds, the vocals from Kevin Cali is what help to give this album a louder edge.  His ability to growl and sing at a split second makes many songs feel energetic and loud.  Tracks like “Where My Heart Belongs” and “Losing Touch” would not feel as intense if not for his delivery in them.

“Where My Heart Belongs” is where you can hear Dreamshade excel in different areas.  The first thirty seconds features a loud opening that transitions into something smooth and melodic.  The speed and intensity both aren’t sacrificed in the transition and this the type of song that goes by very fast because you don’t realize just how much you can get sucked into three minutes and seventeen seconds.  The music overall is well crafted and enjoyable.  You do get lost in the mix when listening through the entire track list as you may forget what song you are on when compared to the others, or in other words some of the songs blend together and become a bit too similar when hearing them all together.  That arguably might not be a bad thing though as many of these tracks are bound to hit different listeners in different ways.

Dreamshade is a band that proves if you put time into the creation and production of your music, the final product will be that much stronger.  The many elements come in more clearly and you can hear more of the passion that went into making it.  As for an album about relationships, the relationship this has band with making music is a deep one.  Overall, Vibrant is a an album filled with energy containing songs as fierce as they are gorgeous.  The production is tight and the guitar work will put you in a trance.  While some of the tracks do come off as a bit similar, there is still a lot worth waking up for in Dreamshade’s new album.

8/10

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Album Review: Dreamshade – Vibrant