Switzerland, despite its small populace, has a plethora of metal bands to show for them. Acts such as SAMAEL, CELTIC FROST, ELUVETIE and metalcorers, “BREAKDOWN OF SANITY” are examples that form an Impressive lineup of very talented bands on their individual genres. DREAMSHADE belong on the same lineup. The group started up as melodic death metal, a style that stuck with them despite their later turn to a more metalcore sound. Now signed at Artery Recordings and with a few releases under their belt, they come back with complete change of direction from what the originally started with a full-length release named “Vibrant”
This is an album that has me divided. For every good element it offers, it also introduces us to its evil goatee-bearing twin. The great vocals, that are the key positive characteristic of this release, are accompanied with god-awful lyrics (“Sweetie don’t be afraid, mom and dad are here…” “All your fears knocking at your door, you’re lying on the bathroom floor…” Come on Kevin, you can do better that that). The very interesting and fun-to-jam-to guitar riffs that are heard in some of the tracks are unfortunately rehashed ideas of other bands like DARKEST HOUR, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, TIMES OF GRACE and throw a little bit of NOVELISTS in there. For every genuinely good and catchy song like “Where My Heart Belongs” and “It’s Over” there is an underwhelming attempt to be poppy and reach a more “radio-friendly” audience in tracks like “I Don’t Wanna Go” and “Another Me, Another You” while the rest of the album, with a few strong exceptions, falls victim to its own unmemorable mediocrity.
““Vibrant” is not a bad album but it falls short in its majority”
The mix was done by the legendary Daniel Bergstrand (MESHUGGAH, IN FLAMES, SOILWORK, BEHEMOTH) at Doug Out Studios, the Mastering handled by Giorgos Nerantzis (DARK FUNERAL, PAIN OF SALVATION, NIGHTRAGE) while the production was done by DREAMSHADE themselves. More or less the result sounds quite decent but if had to point out anything negative it would be the over-triggered kicks and some out-of-context Nu Metal vinyl scratches that had me scratching my head along them.
Lamentably, the lack of individuality and distinctiveness is an enduring theme throughout the album that doesn’t do the band’s talent any justice, a talent that was showcased in previous releases in abundance. “Vibrant” is not a bad album but it falls short in its majority and makes it difficult for me to say it’s a good one either. Personally, I would much prefer it if they were to select half of the songs and released it as an EP. The Swiss metalcore act gave us some of that famous Swiss cheese with “Vibrant” that despite its intense highlights leaves a little to remember and a lot to be desired.