Hearing Dance with the Dead for the first time was like a breath of fresh air. I had been submerging myself in the synthwave genre and listened to artists like Carpenter Brut, Perturbator, Gost, Wavshaper and Com Truise. But, as a musician that loves metal , I always wanted some heavier guitars featuring some of that electronic music goodness. Hearing B Sides Volume 1 was glorious, and once the band announced teasers for the new album, I knew I was going to fall in love. August 14th, the album dropped, and it’s been in heavy rotation ever since.
Dance into the shadows with us
The album grabs you by the neck and tosses you right in with Go!. In this song, you experience something you may not get with other synthwave artists, and what you’ll find is the theme of DwtD, you’ll want to dance. Justin Pointer makes some of the catchiest metal beats that just make you want to get up and bounce around. Toss in Tony Kim’s tasteful guitar playing with a guitar tone that’s akin to Steve Vai’s in the mid 80’s, and you have a cocktail for success.
As you dig into the album, from Into the Shadows, to Salem and Portraits, that high octane energy won’t leave you. You’ll constantly feel like your should be driving 100 mph down a street with the lights flying by you. It was during this part of the album that I began to admire the music composition more than ever. The way instruments are layered and brought in and out is very akin to The Cure. After hearing a majority of their discography, it’s clear that Justin really improved from every release prior. The mixing, the layering, everything.
Lets go to war under a red moon
War is where things got very interesting to me. The song started off very similar to how I think Carpenter Brut or Perturbator would have started a track. But half way through, the song pulls the reign on the energy and falls into this nice breakdown that really strips a lot away. This was enjoyable and I do hope they begin to add more of this into their music. Hearing Red Moon for the first time was a great experience and I can see why it’s climbing the iTunes electronic charts. It’s super catchy and Elliot Sloan does a great job on his feature. Yeah, skateboarder Elliot Sloan! Creep almost sounds like a video game song with it’s guitar focused melody. It also the second feature from As I Lay dying guitar player Nick Hipa, who murders his solo.
From Hell which is probably my favorite song on the album for it’s bouncy feel and ridiculous solos, comes up next. There’s just something about the aggressiveness of that song and the harmonies Tony pulls off. Very reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s Powerslave and Piece of Mind Days. Oracle and Become Wrath close this great release with as much energy as the rest of this album. When you finish it, you may feel a little empty, you also might be exhausted. Don’t worry, it’s normal. This album is not one to relax to, but one to workout to, work to, and drive to.