Brighton based Metal trio Derelict Dream have been working on their second EP “Human” for some time, releasing a live video for “Blood Dance” that was recorded on 30th November 2016, officially making the upcoming new release something of a monolith. That being said, if you’re going to do it, you want it to be right. Right? The follow up to their debut “In His Image” which as a 3 track EP clocked in at just over 18 minutes and doesn’t have anything less than 5 minutes long on it could also be considered overdue. So was it worth the wait?
“Birth” has a melodic atmospheric introduction that builds through synths and gentle guitars while a military march drum pattern gives the sense of the impending onslaught. It comes in the form a crescendo of guitars mid-track that play out some fine riffage that underpins some lead work that only breaks for the closing synths. The song is mostly instrumental and sets the tone of a storm on a calm sea. That storm brings in “Blood Dance”, a song that disposes of the synth intro and instead builds from a pummelling drum pattern and a brutal roar from frontman and guitarist Lou into the opening verse. The unclean vocals of the verse are savage and as they bring in the chorus we get glorious clean vocals and orchestral work underpinned by electronics. It’s a chorus that gives the song a sense of the epic that the lyrical storytelling builds upon nicely. The guitars have a sense of menace about them bouncing between chugging riffs and staccato broken clock time signatures. “Drain” continues in the same vein with thunderous kit work from Jordan that benefits from a mix that is kind to the drum sound. The song holds a sense of the sinister during the melodic clean vocal parts while the uncleans bring much more crushing guitar work. The song carries nicely gradually building through a tasteful solo that doesn’t lose the atmosphere.
“Hearts” brings with it some funkier bass tones from Ant with some brooding melodic vocals that perhaps show that the band may have some more Progressive Metal leanings in them. Indeed once the song hits the 2 minute mark there are some previously unheard Tech-Metal guitars. There is a slow burn feel that accompanies the music, despite it being delivered at pace and it is a fine contract the earlier material, creating a real point of difference without shedding the core sound of the earlier material. “Burn The Hills” takes the melodic clean vocals and pits them against some furious uncleans with an ice cold keyboard passage after some impressive blast beats, while the song as a whole maintains a dark atmospheric. Around the 4 and a half minute mark the sound drops off and builds back in through that same military march, before a roar back return to the pile driver riffage. Whirlwind drum patterns bring with them some Thrashier guitar tones of the likes of Trivium before returning to those staccato tones that have more of the DJent about them resurface like a Sea Monster from the depths. “Ascension” builds from a synth passage that brings to mind an 80’s Science Fiction B-Movie before bringing in some distinctly Devin Townsend inspired work. There is a glorious sense of melody as the song builds before turning to DJentisms to bring things to a close. They say never judge a book by its cover. “Human” shouldn’t be judged from its starting position but where it ends. Derelict Dream transcend Metal sub-genres to deliver something that is epic. Every part fits well together, every element has a natural place. Thrashier parts blend perfectly with Progressive Metal and DJent while the buried electronics, sythns and orchestral work elevate things without taking away the headbangability. Make no mistake – this is a damn fine piece of Metal work [9/10]