The second album from Switzerland’s Dreamshade sees Amaranthe and Volbeat producer Jacob Hansen behind the mixing desk, giving The Gift Of Life a densely layered and more polished sound.
While their songwriting formula is pretty straightforward melodeath with machine-gun riffs and synth melodies, there are some moments on this album that make it worth a listen if you’re a fan of Soilwork or Children Of Bodom. Elisabeth stands out thanks to its strong chorus, as well as the moving Our Flame, with its gentle electronic beats and mellow acoustic guitars.
Structurally, however, the album is a bit too erratic; album opener Photographs swings a little too abruptly (and a little too often) between early Killswitch-style onslaught and something softer, while the same pattern is repeated on several other songs. It feels at times like Dreamshade just want to show off the spectrum of styles they’ve mastered – to their detriment, as The Gift Of Life has some great parts, but is ultimately too incoherent to be considered a great whole.