State of the Art: Dreaming Dead

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is California!


Coming to us from Los Angeles, CA this week is the killer, Melodic Death Metal band Dreaming Dead. Founded by front-woman vocalist and exceptional guitarist Elizabeth Schall and drummer Mike Caffell in 2006, this band has garnered fans from around the world and has toured much of the United States, but generally plays in the Southern and Mid-California areas. Comprising the rest of the band is guitarist Chris McCarthy and former Manslaughter bass player William Palacios-Toledo.


Musically, the key word is Melodic when describing Dreaming Dead’s sound. While very fast, they do break things up with slower passages and a couple of instrumental pieces.  Both guitarists are very precise in their playing, always remain musical and have chosen a traditional, howling guitar sound rather than the compressed, heavily distorted sound customarily used by others in the modern Death Metal genre. Much of their heavy tone comes from the clever and musically sound use of dissonance, fluctuating tempos, the hail of lightening fast drumming and the impeccable bass lines sitting just barely below the surface. Adding to their brutal toolbox of complex songwriting, constant tempo changes give their songs a seamless, flowing, storytelling vibe that is very unique and interesting. Icing on the cake comes in the form of Schall’s smooth, yet barbarous growling vocals. No imperceptible lyrics, clean vocals or screaming here. Dark and timely lyrics are spat out at an intemperate rate which, when added to the dissonance and time changes, creates a very gloomy, bitter and often sad atmospheric world in the listener’s imagination. As a result of this unusual ability to create an almost tangible world through their music, the first two, full-length releases: “Within One” (January 2009) and “Midnightmares” (April 2012) have been well received critically and by their legion of fans. Their much anticipated, third album, “Funeral Twilight” is due out sometime in mid-2016. Definitely worth watching out for!


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About Odyssey

I have had a life-long love of music, but from the first time I heard Kiss and Black Sabbath with my landlord's son in Nicholasville, KY in the mid 70's, I have been hooked on Hard Rock and Metal. While my tastes in music have done nothing but expand since then, Metal remains closest to my heart. In addition, I have played bass, still play guitar and have literally 1000's of CDs/MP3s, so my knowledge is long steeped and honest. I don't buy the whole splintered, sub-genres thing and choose to like bands and music based solely on individual merits. Obviously, this is always colored by my mood, what I need at any given point and time and what is generally pleasing to my ear. I also don't like to rip any music or band, instead having an open mind and ear for it all because I have a passion for it all. It is completely subjective and in a constant state of flux. Consider me a music "nerd" not a music "snob". As an extension of this love, I hope to share this passion with everyone here and learn from your passion as well! - Odyssey -

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