It’s not often that in the space of a four-song EP a band establish themselves as a paramount force in their chosen genre of music, but that’s what Beyond Mortal Dreams have done on Dreaming Death. This Australian band recorded a debut album in 2008 (From Hell), but this April 2012 self-released EP is a new beginning, reflecting both a revised line-up and an especially powerful take on dark, supremely brutal death metal.
Three of the songs are original and the fourth is a cover of Beherit’s “Beast of Damnation” — and the choice of a Beherit song should tell you something about this band.
The music on Dreaming Death is both galvanizing and transfixing. It made me imagine standing in the presence of an infernal creature that’s monstrous and yet magnificent, a sight that would freeze you in place with fear yet accelerate the rush of blood through your veins in a supercharged burst of adrenaline.
The hyper-speed riffs swarm like a horde of red-eyed bats bolting straight out of Hell. It’s a dense, raw, distorted sound that’s almost overpowering.The listening sensation is horrific, like being caught in the cataclysmic destruction of a battlefield or being processed through a giant meat-grinder capable of turning entire populations into sausage stuffing, bones and all.
The guitar solo’s erupt like sheets of white lightening. They’re scalding and blazingly fast, yet they’re also melodic — if you can wrap your mind around that conundrum.
The vocals are also a horror, cavernous and infernal except when they rise in the howl of a chained beast struggling to burst its bonds or take the form of a choir at a black mass.
The title track represents a change of pace from the torrential fury of the remaining songs. Enhanced through the use of a synthesizer, it’s a filthy pool of death/doom that crawls like a fattened maggot without losing an ounce of brutal ferocity. The final swirling solo in the song also takes on an atmospheric quality, like the flight of wraiths through a midnight forest.
I’ve mixed my metaphors to a ridiculous degree in what I’ve written, but all of these images and sensations are what the music provoked in my shell-shocked head as I listened to Dreaming Death. If you wade into this hell-hole, you may better understand what happened to me. And you definitely should take the plunge, because Dreaming Death is one of the best short releases I’ve heard all year. It put me in mind of Hate Eternal, except even more raw and unforgiving.
At one time, it appears that the entire EP was streaming and available for download on Bandcamp, but at the moment digital downloads don’t seem to be available. Instead, CDs can be ordered through the following outlets:
The cover art is fantastic, but I haven’t yet found the name of the artist.
And now here are two of the EP’s four tracks: