Dreams of Gray – The World After (Self-Released)Monday, 30th January 2023
Vocalist/guitarist Luis Rivera came into the presence of this scribe through his Chicago band Abolisher – active from 1995-2007, they would release two demos plus an EP in that time that showcased a progressive form of death metal. Finally returning on the scene, Luis recruited some musicians across the internet world to help execute his latest set of material for Dreams of Gray – with The World After being the debut EP. Listeners can expect a sound with a melodic death base, incorporating a mix of doom, thrash and traditional heavy metal aspects to flesh out a varied, dynamic output.
Energetic opener “Performance V Justice” contains a stirring mix of galloping riffs with occasional staccato groove segmentation, Luis’ voice roaring with lower growls and plus alternative clean desperation, the supplementary drum work from Phil DiCiccio containing complementary double kick/cymbal power and proper pocket support for the arrangement. The guitar melodies shine on “Life in Gray” – a synthesis of 90’s Scandinavian flavor against another driving riff parade that US acts tend to employ. Where Dreams of Gray truly stretch in terms of providing moodier or more adventurous material takes place in the closing title track – the somber opening transports into a memorable bass/drum sequence with early 90’s-Metallica meets Slayer-like tribal propulsion, before the doom/death atmosphere takes control, Luis delivering lyrics of loneliness, reflection, and possible hope for the future that mirror what you hear in this aural twister. Scott Elliot at Chernobyl Studios handles the mixing and mastering in capable, professional form – plus the cover art contains the right mystery/magical quality to also gain favor for those who enjoy a total package presentation.
It’s difficult to pin down specific influences for Dreams of Gray – but they possess those intangible qualities necessary to keep the underground (and above) hordes satisfied through The World After. Looking forward to hearing where Luis will progress in the next set of material, as this is melodic death that has a sharpened attack worth digging deeper into.