Release date: October 26, 2017
Rating: outstanding (4)
Dömötör Gyimesi – vocals, guitars
János Mayer – keyboards
Mária Molnár – vocals
Tamás Tóth – drums
Krisztina Baranyi – violin
Péter Gilián – bass
The first full-length release called “Presentiment” by the Hungarian progressive band Dreamgrave saw the light of day over three years ago and ever since then, “Presentiment” remains an album I listen to on a regular basis. I believe that Dreamgrave’s formula for success is their diversity, and they continue to release great music with their (fairly) new EP “Monuments”. For a more detailed introduction to the band, I suggest reading my (slightly embarrassing) review of Dreamgrave’s debut album on powerofmetal.dk.
I had nothing but the highest expectations of this new release. Still, I was surprised to hear an even broader spectrum of different sounds and styles than I had anticipated, compiled into only three tracks. The EP starts with the track “Drop The Curtain”, which has an atmosphere similar to the two part-track “Presentiment” off the same-named record. This is a beautiful way to create cohesiveness between the two records. “Drop The Curtain”, however, is, in contrast to “Presentiment”, a much more “welcoming” track, less intrinsic. All in all, it’s a succeeded opening track that leaves nothing to be desired. Singer Mária Molnár’s singing style surprised me a little bit, she sounds very much like young Tarja Turunen here. This changes drastically on the next track, however. On “Monuments”, you’ll find skating followed by classical singing (all by the same vocalist!), groovy rhythms, eerie and mysterious acoustic parts, gothic metal in the style of early After Forever, classic progressive metal, and a very intriguing mix of medieval music, prog and jazz towards the end. I would like to be able to describe this track with some kind of adjectives, put a label on it. “Monuments”, however, proves that it is impossible to put a label on everything. Although it took some time for it to grow on me, I now adore this … damn, I’ll just stop searching for the perfect adjective, just give “Monuments” a listen.
Many of the aforementioned influences can be found in the next and last track called “The Passing Faith In Others”. There is one last surprise to be found here – lyrics in Hungarian language, which I heard being spoken every day growing up, but haven’t heard since a few years. I therefore felt connected to this song right away.
There are many reasons why “Monuments” is a critical release for Dreamgrave. It shows much more than “just” three new and outstanding tracks. It shows that Dreamgrave moved beyond their dark, cinematic progressive metal style into territories many metal bands don’t dare to explore. Moreover, it once again shows that they don’t neglect any aspect of their music: From the composition, to the vocal harmonies and the production, everything sounds well taken care of. Especially vocal melodies and harmonies are things that many bands don’t put enough emphasis on.
The crazy thing about Dreamgrave is, beyond all this beautiful music that they are creating, that I always feel like they have only scratched the surface of what is to come. Taking into consideration the music they have been releasing and the steps they have taken on their journey so far, it is safe to say that Dreamgrave is an ever-evolving band that, at least in my eyes (and ears), has truly earned its place in the progressive scene, and I would love to see Dreamgrave growing from an insider tip to a well-known progressive act.
01. Drop The Curtain
03. The Passing Faith in Others