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Released: Oct 14th, 2008
Label: Solid State Records
Number Of Tracks: 14
Dreamer is the fourth studio album from metalcore band Haste the Day. The album was released on October 14, 2008 through Solid State Records.
Skillet_Panhead, on october 29, 2008 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: With the October 14th release of "Dreamer," we find Haste The Day stepping up their musicianship and also broadening their horizons musically. However, people expecting this album to be a follow-up to 2007's "Pressure The Hinges" may be a slightly disappointed. First off, the solos that gave "Pressure... " a lot of it's character are nowhere to be found on "Dreamer." This is probably a side effect of long-time lead guitarist, Jason Barnes' recent departure from the band. Although Brennan Chaulk is perfectly capable of putting out some decent solos. This is hinted at in songs like "Invoke Reform," where he seems to be starting a solo, but is cut off as the next verse begins.
There is no doubt that the Chaulk brothers are incredible musicians. Devin's drumming has always been a staple for the band, and he gets better with every album they release. Breakdowns on this album are more complex than those of "Pressure," and are greatly satisfying. // 9
Lyrics: Now this is where the band truely shines. "Pressure The Hinges" introduced Steven Keech as the new HTD vocalist after Jimmy Ryan's departure in late 2005, and he quickly established himself as an amazing vocalist. And on "Dreamer," he definately steps it up. Not only has his screaming become more refined, but his clean singing has recieved an overhaul as well. Keech sings with a great ammount of passion on this record--something only hinted at in the previous. For example, in "An Adult Tree," Keech's voice fades in and out from scream to clean, and with this effect you can really feel his heart as he delivers the song's powerful lyrics (some of the best on the album).
The Chaulk brothers and bassist Michael Murphy provide excellent backing vocals, as always, and Brennan also gets a chance to sing alone in "Autumn" (for those who don't know, this song was re-recorded from their 2001 EP "That They May Know You"). Haste The Day have always been known for their (for lack of a better word) atmospheric clean vocals between these three guys, and now with Keech adding in as well, they sound better than ever. // 10
Overall Impression: This album is a musical step-up from 2007's "Pressure The Hinges," though a few solos (more than just hints of solos) would've been nice additions. With each album, Haste The Day establish themselves more and more as a force to be reckoned with in the Metal scene. They're a powerhouse band with a seemingly endless supply of inspiration and talent. All that can be said is, watch these guys, because they'll hit you and you won't even know what happened. // 10
Factor13x, on november 21, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Dreamer definitely is not anything like Pressure the Hinges. The vocals have taken a step back in my opinion. Stephen Keech can't and will not be able to match what Jimmy Ryan did on their first two albums. Keech has a completely different sound though that has it's own unique qualities. Brennan Chaulk's vocal skills really come out in Dreamer though. Chaulk and Keech's vocals combined make for a very emotional album. Devin Chaulk keeps getting better and better with each album and in Dreamer he plays his best to this day. Brennan Chaulk also shows his talent on the guitar more since the departure of Jason Barnes. Even though Dreamer lacks the solos from Pressure the Hinges but Brennan puts out some amazing licks on the strings. The band's future looks like it's heading more towards a mixed vocal style, between scream and clean, and the guitar and drums just keep getting better and better. Look for more great things to come out of Haste the Day. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics for Dreamer have more emotion and passion in them then any of previous albums. Even though Keech might be a step down from Ryan but he is refining his screaming that was a little shaky at times on Pressure the Hinges and with Brennan Chaulk the lyrics are really forcing their way into you. The emotion that both bring put into Dreamer really makes the lyrics jump at you and stick. The biggest factor in Haste the Day's lyrics is their Christian beliefs. Their belief in God keeps coming out more and more in every album and it is shown right from the very beginning of the album with the opening song "68", (I am the one you will call the destroyer, the messanger of my disgrace I am my own disease). They nailed it head on right from the start. We are the ones who destroy his kingdom and we are the cause of our pain, and he's the only one that can save us. // 10
Overall Impression: I love everything about this album. There is nothing that I can find that just cuts deep within me because it's just that bad. Haste the Day is one of the best hardcore bands out there and they keep on proving it. Just listen to "Invoke Reform" and "Resolve" and try to say otherwise. I expect that they will keep getting better and better with each album, so don't blink they might just take off on you more than they have before. // 10
unregistered, on july 16, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: I'm constantly hearing how people miss Jimmy and think the band just isn't the same without him. And they're right. It is different. Radically different. But I submit that it has changed for the better. Jimmy's unique squeals are perfectly rowdy enough if that's all you need to bang your head to. But Jimmy never displayed anywhere near the diversity in sound that Stephen has brought to the band. Throw in the excellent back up vocals that Michael Murphy and Brennan Chaulk contribute, and you have a great mix.
It was via "Pressure the Hinges" that I became aware of and intrigued by HTD's sound. Their intensity and flexible management of vocal techniques made them stand out. But nothing prepared me for what was to come with "Dreamer". Right away, the music is different from all their other albums. It has something none of the others did: atmosphere. For the first time, the emotion and intent of their music was seeping out in a manner that testified to how much maturing they had done. "Dreamer" is a masterpiece.
The loss of Barnes and drummer Devin Chaulk (for quite varied reasons), has no doubt left a mark. It is clear that as the opener, "68", plunges in, and states in the chorus, "We came this far to tear the curtain", that the band intends to break new ground as they move ahead. The single, "Mad Man", is an intense declaration of a pledge to go on, fueled by masterful guitar work, electrifying drums, and a hook that won't quit. The music video, literally a moving art show, is also a testament to the new, more mature HTD.
As a whole, the album moves into totally unexpected areas. After blowing the listener away with cleverly crafted melodies and harmonies weaved into fast-paced songs like "Mad Man" and "Invoke Reform", things slow down for a bit for the thoughtful "Labyrinth". Here, the solemn sadness that has belied many of the other tracks is laid bare inside a somber tune that marches dutifully on, like a prisoner destined to walk until he can no longer. The vocals are soft and smooth, laced with thick regret. And even some piano-work is featured near the end, for a surprisingly pleasant detour.
As this track winds up, we are thrown head-long into a very vividly intense narrative, "Porcelain". Finally, a calming acoustic rendition of "Autumn" rounds out the collection. Throughout it all, the vocals are precisely as harsh or as melodic as necessary to evoke the strongest emotion from every lyric. // 9
Lyrics: Lyrically, this album is a masterpiece, there is no other way to describe it. The lyrics are so deeply profound in a way that only a person with a very rich life experience could pen, yet still fueled with a youthful passion.
Examine the contrast between the highly allegorical "An Adult Tree" with the nearly strict narrative "Porcelain", and you'll find quite a variety indeed. Be sure to check out "Mad Man" on Youtube to sample their material. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, an excellent accomplishment that I fear shall be difficult for even them to top. HTD has firmly established themselves as a premiere metalcore band, and let us hope that they can continue to play for some time.
Expect something that you can both headbang to and also appreciate like an elegant piece of art or fine wine. "Dreamer" does exactly what music is supposed to: it captures emotion, skilfully masters musical execution, and delivers a bit of food for thought among its lyrics.
As you go through, expect to go from enjoying one song to the next, appreciating each one for its uniqueness as you uncover it, like viewing a kaleidascope. // 10
unregistered, on october 16, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The quality of play is just as good as it's ever been in HTD. The guitars were tighter like they were in Pressure the Hinges. Personally, I think the new direction soundwise they have taken fits Stephen Keech better. From what I've heard, when Keech does the old stuff it doesn't sound nearly as good. But that's just what I've heard.
As always, I admire the work Devin Chaulk does on the drums. And I also liked having a less heavy song or two in there like Labyrinth. // 9
Lyrics: I don't have much to say about the lyrics. They were mostly great, but some of it sounded like I'd heard it before, like in Haunting where they sing, "You got what you wanted, you got what you wanted, so just go." The singing in the album is better than anything I've heard so far from HTD. Sometimes they are singing-borderline-screaming; that kind of passion in the singing just made the album better. Stephen Keech does well throughout the whole album, although I thought he sounded a bit different than he did in Pressure the Hinges. The song with the best screaming is Invoke Reform, at the beginning (it also has an awesome solo). // 8
Overall Impression: Compared to Pressure the Hinges, Dreamer I think is a step up, although I would've liked a couple more solos. I thought the top songs of the album were, Labyrinth, 68, Invoke Reform, Resolve, and Babylon. It still doesn't compare to That they May Know You, which was their early EP and best release ever. I don't mean to make anyone out there mad, but I thought the remake of Autumn was just terrible. The old Autumn was amazing, and it killed me to hear the remake with just an acoustic guitar and singing. it's kinda like how they ruined Substance when they put it in Burning Bridges because the original in That They May, was so good and they ruined it. But, I'm off course. If someone stole this album, I would definitely buy it again. // 9
Mr. McBrettman, on february 20, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Haste the Day's Fifth (someone previous was mistaken) metalcore album, Dreamer, had been taken down the path of Pressure the Hinges for a while, then span off into a new and fresh approach. Through the loss of Jason Barnes, the guitarwork took more toward melody than lead. More clean moments are found in songs such as "An Adult Tree", "Labrynth", and the acoustic track, "Autumn" as well in others. The solos are minimal upon this one, though they still partain to catchy riffs. The heaviness does increase some what on this album as well. Overall, I dig the sound and gives a great impression, though I feel it is a step back from Pressure. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics are more powerful than pressure (68 hit's home with me) in my opinion. They tend to go more into detail about despair and feeling, tending to make a small scene epic as opposed to try to apply an entire story to a song as other bands do. The boys do a terrific job summing up the thoughts and emotions of those full of transgressions. Stephen Keeche's vocals have been recorded differently with this album and he experiments with some lows, higher-noted screams, and singing arrangements in the songs (did I hear an inhale in "68"? ). I find them more unique than Pressure, though they do not measure up to Jimmy Ryan's (ex-Haste the day, Trenches) raspy shrieks. Stephen's cleans are also fantastic; sweet and powerful, though at times, harsh and strong (in a great way). Brennan does his fine job of singing as he's been doing since the beginning, though this album, his voice seems to be lower and warmer. His voice is a great contrast to the mayhem as it was always, though I found it more catchy, more powerful in his youthful days. // 9
Overall Impression: This album was definitely worth the money (yes I payed, no one does that anymore I guess) but as I said before, a step back. Stephen attempted to take the band to a different area, a different vision of his, but remain in the same genre (as U0's Spencer Chamberlain after the departure of Dallas Taylor), and he did well at it. It's different though the same, nonetheless epic, but I fell in love with Jimmy's scream. But I have Trenches and old HTD albums for that. Keech isn't a plus or a minus, he's just a fork in the road to a new part in the same forest. The best songs of the album would be Babylon, 68, An Adult Tree, and Sons of the Fallen Nation (in that order). Keep at it dudes. // 8