Children who are into any form of music, a dream/goal is to one day release or at least record a song and album. However, with us kids not always having the funds to do anything outside of just write songs, or even finding band mates (and if you can, just rehearsing). This means that we usually abandon said goal and dream in lue of something else.
This to a degree is the case of Hallucination, and this album titled Memories From A Dream. The band (an OSDM band) has self admitted that the songs were written when they were fifteen and sixteen, and that only recently, they decided to record them, and put them on an EP. And this is that EP obviously, which also doubles as the band's debut album.
The album it self, is about the length you'd find most Death Metal EP's to be. There's only seven tracks on it, and each runs from at least one minute, to up to six. I'll get into the songs themselves in a little bit.
The entire production of the EP is decent for a band that had no previous experience at recording. Everything is quite audible, and the quality of the sound itself is very nice. It obviously has that home made/first time sound to it, but it doesn't loom or strangle the album itself. It's noticeable, but you won't really pay much thought to it.
The instrumental work for the songs, are pretty nice as well. Each song sounds like a Death Metal song would, and thus makes the album almost instantly recognizable as an album in the genre it is representing. The guitar work is obviously next to the drums and vocals, the first thing that you'll hear and get blown into your ears. The twin guitar attack brings on the heaviness for the entirety of the recording. They do sound like the norm, but as always it doesn't really matter, as every song in the world sounds the same at some point and time.
However one thing I've noticed a few people gripe about, is how some of the work on the songs sound a little to groovy. Now I myself enjoy Groove Metal, so when those parts come up, I bat an eye at them and don't really care that the type of sound changes
Another thing I've seen people talk negatively about is how the guitars don't really sound inspired. And this is an argument I'd agree with. As I said earlier, the guitar work is what you would hear o a ton of other Death Metal recordings. And while it does let you know that this is an album and band on the Death guild, it does sound uninspired and to a degree not really thought out.
But as a whole, the guitar working for the EP are very nice, and are tight enough to keep order with a little bit of chaoticness. It does sound like it wasn't thought through fully, but it isn't just copied and pasted chords from another song. And even with these negatives, it's still a great work.
The drumming for the album, is a mixed bag when it comes to pros and cons. The drums are audible, and the snare and cymbols sound excellent. But the bass drumming, as well as the work on the toms leave a little bit to be desired. However outside of that little gripe, the drumming is very pleasant sounding.
The singing on the album, is your garden variety styling. Gutteral, loud, and in your face. The sound of the vocals, and for the album itself reminds you almost of old school Cannibal Corpse, which is a very nice compliment to me. But like the other musical aspects of the recording, there is some cons to the vocals.
The main negative about them, is that they were mixed far to low, and sound as if they'd easily get lost. This is quite the no no when it comes to music in general, especially when a good 50 % of the songs is dependent on the lyrics and singing. You can hear them, but due to the mixing of them, it sounds like they'd just jump ship at some point.
But this is the only con in the cap of the vocals. While they do sound like they could just up and vanish, they have a good sound and ring to them.
Now let's move on to the songs for the album. The track listing is as follows:
1. By the Hands of God
2. Abyss Diver
3. Memories From A Dream
4. The Forlorn Watchman
6. ...As My Flesh Crawls
The songs themselves, are pretty damn good. Each one has that Death and Thrash sound to them, and at times can sound pretty catchy (this is mostly due to the guitar work).
Each track does sound like they were well written, and all of them have pretty good song structure. The only time that the structure doesn't sound all that great is on Memories From A Dream. It has this fairly decent dark build up, and proceeds to introduce Groove like riffing. As I stated a little while ago, I quite enjoy Groove Metal. But here it isn't really needed, as it kills the aforementioned dark atmosphere that was being built up.
There's also a few instrumental tracks (5 and 7). They sound nice as well, although the first one has a bit of a Mexican/mariachi sound to it. It catches you a little off guard, as up to that point it was pedal to the medal thrashing guitars, and now it's medium paced soft sounding guitar work that makes me think of Chii Chiis.
My favorite track I must say is probably By the Hands of God. I love the riffing in it, as it has a good flow to it.
In conclusion, Memories From A Dream is a fairly good and decent EP as a debut for the band. It has it's moments when it sounds bad, but those are due to the bad mixing of the vocals, and occasional drum work. While the guitars don't sound all too inspired, they do sound great and catchy, making the replay value pretty high.
So in the end, nice debut, fairly good EP with a few bad spots.