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Modern black metal with a hint of progressive death - 80%

Undynethedead, January 18th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

The way this album was described to me by the person who recommended I look into it was "black metal with death metal influences". This is not an entirely irrelevant descriptor; however, this album is definitively not a death/black metal album, a blackened death metal album, or a war metal/bestial black metal album, or any related subgenre or sub-subgenre of the sort. This is, without a doubt, a black metal album, specifically in the vein of many modern black metal releases-- with a strong focus on developing a cavernous atmosphere (reflected primarily in the expansive production), and riffwork comparable to, say, Xul of Kvlten (or, with a bit of a stretch into the 'esoteric' sphere, UNCULT). The main sonic traits of death metal influence, here, take more inspiration from a band such as Portal than from, say, Incantation (or a traditional death/black act like early Behemoth), like spare hints of deeper growling that pepper in variety to the otherwise thoroughly consistent howling shrieks, and an occasional hint of added dissonance in the tremolo-picked riffing reminiscent of the darker, more eldritch-sounding technical death metal bands (those that take influence from Demilich or Gorguts). It's still primarily a black metal album-- one could express it as a ratio of 90% or 95% black metal to 5% or 10% death metal-- but there's just enough bits of another genre to add some appreciated compositional varietu.

Dreaming in a Dead Language doesn't stand out too much in the greater movement of modern black metal musically, but it is tightly executed, well-written, and excellently paced; it doesn't get bogged down with excessive interludes or overstay its welcome, packing a comfortable amount of content into its tidy length of 37 minutes. If you're looking for a consistent black metal release that gives you a nice filling of atmospheric intensity (and a bit of novelty that comes simply from being a band's debut LP), then this will adequately satisfy that craving.