Review Summary: A dream, never static.
Earthside are a work force. Ready to dominate 2015 with one of the year’s best ‘A Dream In Static’ is a highlight from start to finish for the listener who enjoys exceptional music. It’s not too often that a band will simply ‘connect’ with new listeners; it’s even rarer to find a similar connection within instrumental music. Earthside’s 2015 masterstroke grabs the attention of the listener and builds on each successive track, presenting melody after melody and precise timing bolstered by some of the most prestigious guest vocals the metal community has seen in recent years. Earthside enters ‘A Dream Without Static’ as an early ‘album of the year’ contender and is sure to please those who enjoy the dynamic display of instrumental prowess. Whether you think this is indeed worth the title mentioned above you’ll enjoy the self-argument, because the music stands tall not only for the year but also for the rock genre as a whole.
First thing most new listeners will notice is the inclusion of multiple guest vocalists, all renowned through their own acts/bands and while this does leave some trepidation on what Earthside’s plan for the wave after wave of talent at their disposal, each component is added for maximum effectiveness, working within the vocalists unique abilities. The end result comes closer and closer to perfect with each listen. Take the record’s second single “Mob Mentality” for example; despite the fact that it features the vocal works of Lajon Witherspoon (of Sevendust) and the Moscow Studio Symphony Orchestra it is a ten minute testament to hard-working musicians and precise, on point song writing ability. “Mob Mentality” brings cinematic rock fundamentals to the for-front coupled with the MSSO’s orchestral brilliance, it also allows for a number of crescendos and numerous decrescendos to dance playfully along the duration of the track. Every time you hear a note, hear a fill it has been strategically placed for maximum effect. Lajon’s added vocal elements not only match the instrumentation, he enhances it.
From Tesseract to Sevendust and even Soilwork, Earthside’s newest offering boasts ‘big’ at every turn. Now I know what you’re thinking; there are a lot of bold sweeping statements here. Thankfully Earthside live up to the precise standard they’ve now set for themselves. Living up to the adulation is no small measure, the bar was set high from the album opener “The Closest I’ve Come” and the standard was continually lifted aright until the closer “Contemplation Of Beautiful” which just clocks in under twelve minutes.
Overall the shifting contrasts found throughout the record really lift this to staggering new levels. “A Dream In Static” may be consistently awesome, but there’s no real room for repetition. There’s a lot to be taken away from this record, not just for fans of the genre, but new listeners as well. If this is your first taste of music away from general radio play, you may not want to go back. “A Dream In Static” is a huge record, to be enjoyed, absorbed and played again. Each track is a page within a journey - a journey that lasts for an hour and four minutes, never to feel long or tiresome. Earthside’s 2015 record is like that holiday you worked all year for; over way too soon.