Release Date: 05/03/20
For Fans Of: In Flames, While She Sleeps, Rise To Fall
Just like the Carl Sagan book it takes its name from, Dreamshade’s latest album A Pale Blue Dot photographs humanity from afar. To its core, this is a modern metalcore album with the recognisable elements of huge hooks, crisp riffs, big melodies and crushing breakdowns. Without doing something too far out of the ordinary, they manage to showcase their talents in this well-rounded record.
On A Pale Blue Dot, the Swiss outfit elevate the sound they formed in 2012’s The Gift Of Life by taking all the best elements of their sound and trusting their artistic instincts and skills when it comes to escaping their comfort zone. Here, Dreamshade cover personal and social events, environmental issues, and even the technology dependency we’re all living through. First single ‘Lightbringers’ sets the tone for the release as a reminder of the light at the end of the tunnel, with hopes of a better future after this difficult time of social isolation.
The stand out feature of the album is the space given to each member to showcase their talents. ‘Question Everything’ and ‘Elephant’ allow Fernando ‘Fella’ Di Cicco and Luca Magri – who carry a big part of the album and whose riffs can tear your head off – the space required to shred. This all happens while they simultaneously – and rather masterfully – back guitar melodies behind the rhythm with their excellent layered melodic guitars. Drummer Francesco ‘Fry’ Ferrini then steps into the spotlight with a song-wrapping solo in the equally stunning ‘Shanghai Nights’. Each member takes their place without overshadowing the next, allowing the album to slide through in an almost seamless manner; every element in the songs stands out perfectly and feels like it belongs.
While the guitars and drums add many levels of strength and varying speeds, vocalist Kevin Calì’s ability to shift vocals almost instantly without feeling disjointed makes the tracks feel even more energetic and powerful. With cleverly emotional lyrics delivered at a steady quality level, tracks like ‘Safe Harbour’, ‘Impulse’ and ‘On My Own’ would not feel as intense if not for his delivery in them.
As well as the 2012 influence, a sprinkle of hip-hop/rap and synth-pop elements were carried over from their 2016 release Vibrant; however, these were kept at a well-balanced amount without being hard to digest and overpowering to the LP’s overall metalcore sound. Such elements are woven delicately throughout the album, in songs such as ‘Stone Cold Digital’, ‘A Place We Called Home’ and even ‘toD-eulB-elaP-(A)’, with subtle synth melodies and verse-rapping over a nu-metal beat.
Additionally, the album welcomes two special guests who add their own character to their respective tracks: on ‘Stone Cold Digital’ you’ll find Italian singer Rose Villain, while on ‘Nothing But The Truth’ you can hear Darkest Hour frontman John Henry giving his all alongside Dreamshade’s own Kevin Calì. Album closer ‘Save This’ also includes a special collaboration too as the band managed to have 517 fans from 70 different countries singing gang vocals on the track.
Throughout A Pale Blue Dot, the band’s vision is clear. The tracks flow effortlessly together, keeping the listener on their toes from beginning to end. No matter how Dreamshade evolve, they will always be a band that places complete dedication to the craft of album making.
Recommended Tracks: ‘Safe Harbour’, ‘Shanghai Nights’, ‘Question Everything’