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Dead Head - Dream Deceiver (Reissue)

Dead Head
Dream Deceiver (Reissue)
by Quinten Serna at 20 August 2019, 10:10 PM

Rare is it that we as listeners and consumers—the musical commonwealth—are bestowed an album for which we are either already familiar with or at the very least possess the ability to listen to subsequently defeating the purpose of the reproduction, and yet, find within those reproduced tracks unknown and forgotten material whose existence otherwise would never see the light of day. And whilst DEAD HEAD does not offer a treasure trove of undiscovered wealth they do enlighten fans with rough cut demos, altered tracks, and genuine ease of access to materials that would otherwise be considered rarities as they are near unavailable anywhere online such as the recordings from their “Come to Salem” and “Kill Division” albums.

For those few who believe the airwaves have yielded no change in the past 26 years bear listen to the opening track “Angel Heart” and hear the shear tenacity and abandon found within each instrument. The song slows to a crawl during the break only to be immediately quickened before divulging for a moment to its main run in order to support a solo, returning to the quickened passage and ending suddenly on the chorus drifting off with the eldritch and eerie thumping of a heart. Many of the other songs fall into the same manner of voicings and construction—not that that in itself is a bad thing as it plays in favor to the band defining themselves sharper and sharper with every sounding track. From the likes of “House of Ambience”, “Unholy”, “I or the Needle”, and “Crimson Remains”, to “Sunshine,” DEAD HEAD is characterized by their relentless drive, guttural and shrieking vocals, reflective riffs, and dynamic songwriting.

DEAD HEAD is itself an interesting case as despite several lineup changes over the years they continue to not only create new material but are constructed entirely of the original lineup; a rare feat for any band even larger ones known the world over,. The most amazing part of this album is how fresh it sounds even after 26 years completely cutting through the torrent of watered down and oversaturated Thrash Metal that populates the modern proving grounds while still maintaining character and clarity in its songs. “Dream Deceiver” continues to deliver in excellence well past its prime and manages itself as a great introduction to the band for any soul wading through new releases as summer approaches its end; and those who manage to listen to the album may find themselves swallowed into the band and its craft hopefully allowing us in the future more access to their previous work beyond the realms of back alley eBay fanatics.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Angel Heart
2. House of Ambience
3. Repulsive Emission
4. Unholy
5. Dream Deceiver
6. I or the Needle
7. Crimson Remains
8. Shifting Sands
9. Dying Angels
10. Spiritual Suicide
11. Sunshine (Shark Tapes)
12. Phoenix Rising (Shark Tapes)
13. Sprayed into Oblivion (Shark Tapes)
14. Where Silence Dwells (Shark Tapes)
15. Unholy (Label Demo)
16. I or the Needle (Label Demo)
17. Crimson Remains (Label Demo)
Lineup:
Marco Kleinnibbelink - Drums
Hans Spijker - Drums (Shark Tapes and current drummer)
Tom van Dijk - Bass / Vocals
Robie Woning - Guitars
Ronnie Vanderwey - Guitars
Record Label: Hammerheart Records
     


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