Dream Death: Dissemination

Doom/death pioneers come back from the grave

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The perpetual trouble that bands who release impeccably crafted, genre-defining opuses face are the inevitable comparisons between their latest opus and their other works.

Although it was mostly overlooked on release, Dream Death’s 1987 Journey Into Mystery remains the gold standard for doom/death with a thrash injection. The Pittsburgh posse threw in the towel back in 1989, but vocalist/guitarist Brian Lawrence and drummer Mike Smail breathed life (or death, as it were) back into the corpse with 2013’s Somnium Excessum and now Dissemination.

The album falls closer to Journey Into Mystery’s thunderous pallor with Lawrence’s upfront bellow, the evil warmth of skittering, half-step riffs and tempo explorations rare to the doom blueprint. Somnium Excessum’s moody experiments have also been cleaved in favour of a thunder that gravitates between downcast and punishing, as the record plays out like a horror/suspense film with a subtext tackling life’s ultimate inevitability.

It’s undeniably a damn good record, but only time will tell how it stands in their discography.