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October 6, 2013 on 12:33 pm | In Dream Types | 2 Comments

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  1. This is the true sound of The Dreaming After listening to the whole album several times, I have to say that Puppet does indeed blow Etched In Blood out of the water, and Etched In Blood was an amazing record. As Christopher Hall has noted in several interviews, Etched In Blood was not intended to be the crushing pop-metal that it was. Due to the influences of the album’s producer and the band members at the time, most of the electronic elements were left out of the recordings, as well as whole songs left on the cutting room floor. The Dreaming always intended to carry on the synth elements that Stabbing Westward were known for, and with Puppet that intention is finally fully realized.Puppet is an electronic rock/new wave hybrid with LOTS of classic 80′s style synths blended in perfectly with the guitars. The synths carry most of the non-sung melody lines and lift these songs to amazing new heights. The guitars are still in-your-face, but less thrashy that what you heard on past songs like Sticks & Stones from the last album. I prefer the way the guitars were handled on Puppet, as they sound a lot more retro than how most poppy metal bands tend to play today. Overall, the album has a timeless feel in terms of production, while still maintaining a modern edge that cannot be ignored due to the structure of the songs and their melodies. Johnny Haro’s drumming is stellar and nothing needs to be said about Christopher Hall’s voice as fans know he can do no wrong with his amazing soaring vocals. No one can hit the high melodic range like he does without sounding forced or whiny. Former member Carlton Bost(Deadsy/Berlin) was a permanent member during the recording of this record and played guitar and some synth. If you are familiar with Deadsy, then I think you’ll agree his presence can be felt all over this record. Lyrically, the themes are the same as they have always been with Christopher during his musical career, so there is no need to go into detail there. No one does drama and heartbreak more convincing than him.It should be noted that Puppet, Hole, and Solo Crucifixion are re-recordings of older demos that were never finished. Those demos are available online, but if you’ve heard them before you won’t believe how incredible they are now. Solo Crucifixion got the biggest overhaul and is simply a crushing melodic track with lots of synths and melodies that the older version lacked. Puppet got a similar face-lift with updated lyrics and added instrumentation. Hole features backing vocals by the excellent Chibi from The Birthday Massacre and piano from former member Jinxx and a better chorus melody that the demo lacked. Every Trace, while a great catchy song in its self, is probably the weakest link in the album if you had to name one. This is mostly due to an overly familiar drum beat (Beautiful People anyone?) and overall choppy rhythm that has been played to death by other bands already. However, comparatively speaking Every Trace still blows away other songs with similar structures, just be prepared to not be able to ignore the comparisons to other songs you may have heard. Their cover of Depeche Mode’s It’s No Good was a brave thing to do since covering a song from a brillant band like DM usually results in wanting to just listen to the original since DM is an epic group who’s songs no band could do better than them. Still, The Dreaming’s cover is just as epic and Christopher’s vocals are so convincing you might think he wrote the song instead of Martin Gore. Great cover. The remaining songs all have great synthesizers, soaring melodies and choruses, and amazing guitars. Every single track could be a single easily. How many other bands can make that claim?This should be an easy buy. If you are a Stabbing Westward fan (which 90% of Dreaming fans are), then you already have this album. If you are a fan if bands like Kill Hannah and early Killers who also incorporate a lot of awesome 80′s synths into their melodic rock then you need this record. Make no mistake, this is no “emo” record that countless souless bands make at the hands of their record labels. This is a retro, melodic, 80′s influenced rock album that will continue to please for years to come.

    Comment by Herbert West — October 6, 2013 #

  2. Blown away! I love Stabbing Westward and was weary at first to listen to this band. I’m glad I did. “Etched in Blood” (The Dreaming’s first album) is one of my favorite records and “Puppet” just topped it. Their cover of “It’s No Good” by Depeche Mode is great, I don’t even want to listen to the original. This entire album is filled with great songs; all killer no filler. I can’t stop listening to it. Christopher Hall’s vocals are haunting and strong just like they were with Stabbing Westward. Don’t let their appearances fool you. This is no emo band. The Dreaming is a ROCK band and I only hope they get the exposure they deserve. Any and all Stabbing Westward fans should listen to this album, you won’t be disappointed.

    Comment by DreamingLeo — October 6, 2013 #

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