“You will never break us/We will fight until the bitter end/You will never break us/We will always find the strength to Rise Again! “-Christopher Hall, “Rise Again”, 2015
How fitting is that line sung on the last track of The Dreaming’s latest album? On their third (And first for Metropolis Records), The Dreaming channel all that negative energy and aggression from a tumultuous year or so (Line up woes! Label woes!) into an album that’s equally triumphant and evolutionary. Oh, and they’ve added some guy named Walter Flakus who might be familiar to Stabbing Westward fans out there meaning a lot of folks will be comparing Rise Again to vocalist Christopher Hall’s former outfit. And they won’t be entirely wrong. However, if you’ve been following The Dreaming since their inception then you’ll hear Rise Again for what it truly is: the next evolution of one of the great electronic rock bands of the 21st Century.
As for that SW sound? Yeah it’s definitely there and can probably be credited with the addition of Hall’s former Westward writing partner and bandmate Flakus joining The Dreaming’s ranks. In fact, if you close your eyes and let “Can’t Happen Here” from Ungod flow into Rise Again‘s first single/opening salvo “Alone” you’ll swear it’s the same band. Almost.
Rise Again is basically The Dreaming to extremes as the band fully embrace the synthetic element and infuse it into their core DNA, that being the rocking moments that made PUPPET and Etched In Blood stand out from the rest. Hall has never sounded better with his impassioned, emotive voice bringing more depth to each song. Johnny Haro, Carlton Bost, and Brent Ashley meanwhile have never sounded tighter underscoring those huge choruses with bigger riffs and an expansive sonic landscape within each song.
The rest of Rise Again brims with excitement and energy as well. “Painkillers” is a cross between Darkest Days SW and modern day The Birthday Massacre, “Kisses Taste Like Death” rocks harder than anything either of Hall’s bands has put out while “Empty Promises” is an airy electro pomp rife with riffs. Later on, “Still Believe” starts like “ACF” on Meth and “Blink Of An Eye” begins with an immense aural assault. Closing with what is sure to be a new anthem for the band, “Rise Again” echoes the victorious sentiment felt throughout this album and sets the stage for The Dreaming to finally conquer the world.
Rise Again is out on Metropolis Records on February 10th, 2015. Pre-order are available here.