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CD-Review-The-Dreaming-Puppet-2012-TheRockpit

THE DREAMING
PUPPET

 

 

By David Vaickus

 

The Dreaming, where do I start? There is a decent amount of background info I must give before getting into the actual album review for Puppet. For those of you who do not know, The Dreaming is a band featuring Christopher Hall, former singer of Stabbing Westward. Their first album, called Etched in Blood, was released back in 08. I really loved this album. Steady upbeat tempo's, which were quite a contrast from Stabbing Westward and simple hook filled chorus's. The guitars were simplistic yet there were always a few riffs here and there that gave it a heavier element and a more rock sound. The Etched in Blood album cycle featured Jinxx and Carlton Bost on guitars, Brent Ashley on Bass, Johnny Haro on drums and Christopher Hall on vocals. They released the album on their own label (DC Records) and toured extensively. After the Etched in Blood album cycle was over The Dreaming started working on their next album. During this time their guitarist Jinxx was asked to leave the band, their bassist Brent Ashley had left to play with Wayne Static and their other guitarist Carlton had left to play with the newly reformed Orgy or “Orjay,” since the only original member is the singer Jay!


Before Puppet had come out I had heard that the album was going to rely more heavily on keys than the previous release. This statement made me nervous as I envisioned the rock element of the previous release being thrown out the window. Upon first listen you can hear many differences compared to their first released. Guitars are almost non-existent and keyboards are in fact heavily used in every song on the album. At first I thought this was a direct result of Jinxx's departure but was later informed this move was intentional. With that said I put aside my preconceived notions of what the album should sound like and listened to it for what it is. After a few listens I was completely blown away. Christopher Hall is not only one of the best and most unique singers out today but he is also a very underrated songwriter.


The album opens up with “Puppet” which is a re-worked version of a song that has been around for a while. The new version definitely has a little less guitar and more keys as does the rest of the album. Great song to open up the album.


“Every Trace” is the next track and is also their first single. This song is a bit of a departure for The Dreaming as it is the first song they have ever done that features a shuffle. It has a feel much like Muse, with a catchy chorus and some aggressive lyrics which is a staple within most Dreaming songs.

 

The next few tracks are some of my favorites on the album. “Breathing” is a dark mid-tempo rocker with a very emotional tone to it. “There Will Be Blood” is next and is just pure ominous. This song has a great emotional overtone to it as well. Everything about it fits together so well. The keys and guitars work together in harmony with Christ Halls menacing vocals complementing this song perfectly. “End in Tears” slows down just a bit and starts off with another ominous riff which leads
this song into being one of the most emotional on the album. The lyrics and Chris's vocals are great as usual but the keyboard pattern on the chorus help to make this song sound mad and erratic. Excellent song, one of my favorites on the album. “Fight for You” is about an ex-band member and is pretty brutal in the lyric department.


“Hole” is another song on Puppet that is a bit older and has been re-worked. This song actually features their ex guitarist Jinxx on piano and Chibi from The Birthday Massacre on vocals harmonizing with Chris. This song is 1,000 times better than the original version. The keyboards add an epic element to the song while the piano gives it the emotional tone needed. Chris Halls vocals combined with Chibi's harmonies fill up this song and turn it into one of the most complex arrangements
The Dreaming has ever written.


Other tracks on the album are “Stitches,” “It's No Good,” (Depeche Mode Cover) “Solo Crucifixion,” “Too Late” and “Always and Never.”


This album is very different than Etched and Blood and because of those differences I thought I was going to dislike this album. At the end of the day a great song is a great song regardless of the amount of guitars or keys. Christopher Hall and Johnny Haro did not fail to deliver on Puppet. The Dreaming had to overcome a lot of obstacles during the making of this album. It's nice to see those obstacles did not get in the way of their creativity.