Review Summary: The cherry on top of the cake.
EPs form an interesting, yet underrated music release format. They have come in handy in the past, both for bands and record companies. Bands use this format, to release material completely different with respect to their preceding (and/or following) "official" releases, expressing musical style transitions or temporary artistic endeavors.
On some occasions, however, EPs are issued by request of the record companies, so as to give further momentum to an artistically (and/or commercialy) successful record. The goal is two-fold. Reward the fans for their appreciation towards the band’s recent work and keep them in anticipation, while the band goes relatively "obscure", working for an upcoming release. The EP material is similar in form, while of moderately inferior quality (in most cases), with respect to the preceding "official" release.
When Dream and Day Collide
EP files under the latter case. With Eight Ways
, Madder Mortem were credited with considerable praise from both fans and the metal music press all around the globe. As a consequence, the band released an EP with previously unreleased material from the Eight Ways
sessions, named after a track first issued in the aforementioned album, present here as well.
The EP starts and finishes respectively with the single edit and the original version of a fairly good Eight Ways
song, the EP title track. However, the essence here revolves around the three new songs. Musically, there are no surprises, as the band successfully continues the songwriting ethics of Eight Ways
, that is the blending of ultra-heavy plus joyful "rock ‘n roll" riffing with musical passages influenced from art rock, light 40’s jazz and the blues. On the other hand, repeated listens show that the new material is moderately good but of inferior quality, when compared to the songs from Eight Ways
, making this EP a must-have only for the fans.
The band performance is tight as usual, as it can be witnessed even by the flawless sound production. The energetic instrument playing (bass, guitars, drums) gets the most out of the new material, while it favors repeated listens. A really appreciable attribute - reminded in this release once again - is that the band works for the songs, not the other way around. Agnete Kirkevaag’s voice, although it holds certain limitations, is highly emotive and soothing as usual. In so many words, the voice melodies are quite memorable, although not superb.
At the end of the day, this EP can be seen both as a companion to the Eight Ways
album and as a small gift to the fans. Although it can't be considered as a solid musical proposal, it keeps the band at the surface long enough, until its next full effort.