|The Dreaming - Etched In Blood
01. Dead to Me
04. Let it Burn
05. Sticks & Stones
07. Become Like You
09. Eating Me Alive
10. What Do You Want
11. Make it Go Away
12. Send Me an Angel
A few years ago I was listening to Stabbing Westward on my computer and after seeing the MSN "Now Playing" status notification one of my annoying friends taunted me with a message "H3y, datz emo!!1 WOOT". After initially getting a bit defensive, I started thinking and it dawned on me - "hey, they actually are kinda emo". Naturally, calling Stabbing Westward emo is a pure anachronism, since the band cultivated their style of industrial-tinged emotional rock way before the emo scene became big and never had punk roots. With this said, it seems like Christopher Hall's new band The Dreaming truly is "kinda emo".
The Dreaming certainly does feature more punk-influenced structures and even the occasional obligatory melodic lead that the nihilistic Stabbing Westward would never include in an album. A further look at the bands' MySpace page confirmed my suspicion - obviously Hall and the boys are no strangers to mascara. Thankfully, all of these things are merely superficial faults since Etched In Blood is a very listenable little record. The band is heavier and more aggressive than Stabbing Westward have been in years, while a song like "Eating Me Alive" proves that Hall still writes supremely memorable riffs. Most people would focus on his singing though and with good reason, since the man certainly can scream his lungs out with emotional abandon, even if some of the refrains on this album are bordering on kitsch. Nevertheless, the previous criticism is hardly something new and applies to Stabbing Westward as well, which means that fans of the band should enjoy Etched In Blood quite a bit.
Kinda emo, kinda industrial, a little kitschy, somewhat heavy - Etched In Blood is an album prone to conflicting emotions. You'll absolutely hate parts of it, love some of it, fail to grasp where the band is going with certain ideas. Nevertheless, this is what makes the band unique and probably captures the apparent inner turmoil that lead to writing music like this far better than the naive lyrics do. Perhaps throwing away all preconceptions and focusing solely on emotion is the key to listening to The Dreaming. Does this make a band emo? Probably not, but who the hell knows? Either way, Etched In Blood will certainly appeal to anyone who thought that the line "every-time I think about you I die" was pretty cool back in 1993.
Written on 12.02.2009 by
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. Privately not actually an asshole, he lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he runs his small graphic and web design business.