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Dr. Schafausen – Waiting For Tomorrow Award winner

Dr. Schafausen
Waiting For Tomorrow
by Santiago Puyol at 03 May 2021, 9:45 AM

Dystopic themes in Metal (and even Rock) music are not new. Its darker tones and edges lends itself easily to dark imagery, be it the occult or this kind of totalitarian, chaotic future that steers to close to current times on DR. SCHAFAUSEN’s debut record, "Waiting For Tomorrow". DR. SCHAFAUSEN is at its core a Metalcore solo project from bassist Sergio Pagnacco. A trio of talented session musicians complete the line-up. The band does not limit themselves to straightforward Metalcore, though, incorporating elements of Alternative Rock, Pop-Punk, Death Metal and even Trap and R&B on their sound.

"Dr. Schafausen’s Dilemma" opens the record in melodramatic fashion, introducing the listener into this dystopic world via a theatrical spoken word intro with an orchestral backdrop. It feels like the overture of a long lost Progressive Rock album, maybe even a really weird musical. "My Beautiful Girl" follows, indulging in its Trap influences, with some mild rapping, layered synths and electronic beats. It builds massively to an epic Metalcore chorus that shows this band can truly rock.

The title track comes next. "Waiting For Tomorrow" has an almost Post-Rockish guitar intro, giving way to powerful Post-Hardcore verses, very THRICE-sounding before the fast-paced sing-rap style pushes the Metalcore elements to the forefront again. It is the longest track on the record going a little bit over six minutes, allowing for some breathing space between verses. It features some gorgeous synth touches, a constant through most of the album.

"Can't Get The Best Out Of Me" makes sporadic use of gang vocals. It is a heavy and urgent track, filled with Punkish energy and straight to the point. The atmospheric section has some beautiful guitar work that is vaguely resembling of the Post-Rockish and artsy style of LA DISPUTE. Meanwhile, "Transient Parasites" doubles down on aggression and heaviness, being probably the heaviest track on the record. Djenty rhythms make the backbone of the track while the synth work adds a bit of a Gothic feel.

On a more straightforward Metalcore side, "Crypto Violence" puts the emphasis on the -core elements of the band’s sound. The mix of vocal styles is quite intriguing, with death growls, high-pitched screaming and Pop-Punk inspired cleans. It has single potential written all over.

The biggest detour of the record is "2127" certainly. It opens with a lengthy and beautiful R&B-inspired intro. Deep, Dub-tingled bass paired with atmospheric synths create a bubbly atmosphere, slowly building tension, before exploding into a brutal Metalcore chorus. This mix of disparate elements is simply gorgeous. Trap-Metal or Trapcore are certainly not a brand new phenomenon, but DR. SCHAFAUSEN does an outstanding job of fusing different styles to create something stronger than its building blocks. Looking for similarities between Rock and Pop artists that died aged 27 and Rap and Trap artists that died aged 21 surely makes for an interesting and heartbreaking concept.

"I Will Never Live In Silence" is a powerful closer and ends the record on a high note, with the band playing to all their strengths. From its nasty bass intro to its soaring choruses it carries a sense of urgency and liberation through the power of music. It fills the silence with sound just as its title proclaims, living up to it. It is also a perfect finale in the sense that it leaves the listener waiting and wandering for more.

"Waiting For Tomorrow" is a vital debut record for DR. SCHAFAUSEN, setting a high bar for the band to follow. They seem to have the chops to do it, as the songwriting is strong and memorable, and the musicianship is not only skillful but also truly creative. Production-wise there is little room for improvement, aside from giving a little more breathing room on the softer sections and maybe clearing up the bass end of things, that gets a little muddy at times. But that is just me nitpicking. A contender for album of the year for me. Keep an eye on this project!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Dr. Schafausen’s Dilemma
2. My Beautiful Girl
3. Waiting For Tomorrow
4. Can’t Get The Best Of Me
5. Transient Parasites
6. Crypto Violence
7. 2127
8. I Will Never Live In Silence
Sergio "Dr. Schafausen" Pagnacco – Bass
Anatole Lyssenko – Drums
Slava Antonenko – Vocals
Michael Pahalen – Guitars
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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