On “In Dreams,” the latest release from the Sumerian Records artist, the breakdowns are still there, the “bounce” is still there, and the shred is still there…somewhat. My first listen to this album gave me the sense that the band hadn’t really progressed much musically, and wasn’t trying to show any real sense of change or maturity as musicians. A few listens later and that feeling still lurks, but not as strongly, because where this album has (mostly) what you would come to expect after hearing the last release, aside from the solos, those fast paced shred riffs seem to be a bit distant, and even in some songs lacking, making it seem that they’ve almost stepped backwards.
Opening is the song “My Frailty” with a riff that I can almost swear I heard on an old Korn record from the 90s (yes, I was that guy at one point in time, get over it, you probably were too), mixed with a bit of a Dillenger Escape Plan style harmony, then right into a mid-paced riff that seems to be the main point of the song. That pace continues, and continues, and after a little while sounds very redundant. Track three, titled “Pendulum” seems to be one of the more melodic songs of the album, and there’s small hints of clean vocals every now and then. I can’t quite make out what they’re saying, but judging by the gang vocals at the end of the song, they’re saying “We lose control.” I can picture kids piling up to sing along to this already.
A few songs in, the technicality picks up a bit, and they bring those cool “meedly” riffs back in for short periods of time, but still don’t have any riffs based on the shredfest that the last one was, and where they are seen sound exactly the same as the one on the last song. “To Carry you Away” starts off with an ambient sounding clean riff, and then kicks in with what sounds like a riff that you think you heard somewhere on Shadows Fall‘s album “The War Within“, but can’t place your finger on the song. It continues like that for a little while, even with clean vocals in the chorus, then builds into one big massive breakdown for a few minutes.
Overall it’s a solid effort, and I can definitely see the hardcore fans absolutely loving every minute of this, as I’ve already been in a few arguments over this. For me, it’s just a mediocre metalcore album from a band that had a chance at one point to remain ahead of the game, but instead took half a step back and settled, plus the clean vocals kind of make me scratch my head a bit. It’s definitely an album worth listening to, but in order to progress, a few steps in the right direction may just be what After the Burial needs.