Dream Unending
Song of Salvation


4.2
excellent

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
November 13th, 2022 | 64 replies


Release Date: 11/11/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Music as awesome as that album cover

In discussion of music, the term “sophomore slump” gets thrown around frequently. Whether or not it’s statistically more common than could otherwise be expected for a second album to disappoint after a promising debut, I’m sure anyone reading this could provide, off the top of their head, an example of an artist who severely regressed with their second album, whether or not they eventually managed to right the ship. That said, there is also an exact reverse trend, in which an artist manages to refine and perfect their vision on the second go-round, thereby leveling up quickly. Dream Unending’s Song Of Salvation is a textbook example of this happier phenomenon.

A duo comprised of veterans of several death metal groups, Dream Unending’s 2021 debut Tide Turns Eternal was met with interest and general acclaim. Its take on “dream doom” (effectively death doom metal meeting with lighter genres like psych-prog and post-rock) was fairly original, and executed solidly to boot. My personal thoughts on Tide Turns Eternal, though, were that the results were ultimately more intriguing than an achievement of true excellence. In short, Dream Unending had a promising formula, but they hadn’t yet reached their final form, at least consistently through a full album.

Well, with Song Of Salvation, that assessment has changed. This album feels like everything I hoped its predecessor would be. The music is tight and fluid, while effortlessly melding the disparate influences which the band dabbles in. In terms of structure, the record is satisfyingly symmetrical, its five song tracklist marked by mammoth bookends (the opening title track and closing “Ecstatic Reign”), a second and fourth track of medium length, and a centering brief interlude of notable beauty. All of them hit the required spots.

Song Of Salvation, in a concise runtime (more on that later), feels like it has a bit of everything. Need your metal to have balls? Never fear, Dream Unending undoubtedly has the requisite cojones, for proof just observe the martial ending of the title track or the strutting opening of the sprawling closer, not to mention the guttural vocals calling up to you out of the abyss throughout. Want your daily dose of musical beauty? Then turn to the gorgeous clean guitar which opens the title track or the crystalline soloing which predominates throughout the aforementioned interlude. How about something out of left field? Well, focus on one of the several guest vocalists who make appearances, or better yet, the guest trumpeter who sorrowfully serenades us to enter “Secret Grief”. And best of all, everything referenced in this paragraph (and more) achieves cohesion, fusing together into a rather magical musical journey.

It’s only fair to note that Song Of Salvation isn’t perfect. While this might be a rare complaint for a doom-associated release, the album runtime could easily be extended a few minutes and I’d be delighted. Additionally, the spoken word which features prominently late in “Ecstatic Reign” doesn’t quite do it, at least for me. Those nitpicks aside, though, this is a pretty astounding accomplishment of a second album. Full of pummeling riffs, emotional guitar solos, and intoxicating atmosphere, Song Of Salvation shows that Dream Unending are now actually doing what they already suggested they’re capable of. It’s a beautiful thing to see.



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user ratings (79)
3.8
excellent
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PsychicChris (4.5)
A natural evolution of deathy-doomgaze goodness...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2022


4444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

I'm pretty obsessed with this album right now, great stuff.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2022


29188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Couldn't get into their debut but will check this. I have a good feeling. Nicely done Sunny.

Goodolboy
November 13th 2022


115 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I wasent into the debut at all but from what I've heard of this it sounds better forsure

Sowing
Moderator
November 13th 2022


42638 Comments


Nice review as usual. That cover art really is something else.

butt.
November 13th 2022


10107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Loooove the album art. Music is equally good. Always love what these guys do. Melodic and pretty, but undoubtedly still death/doom

Teal
November 14th 2022


462 Comments


That cover art lured me in.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 14th 2022


29188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

2 tracks in this is way better then debut, first track was a monster, second track has sax, can't ask for more.

Goodolboy
November 14th 2022


115 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah I thought the debut was kinda overrated. This is a step up fosho

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
November 14th 2022


29188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The last track is amazing and the second track also has led me to check Leila Abdul-Rauf's stuff, good shit.



EDIT: I thought Leila was the name of the singer in the last track, but that would be McKenna Rae from Phantom Divine (I think)

evilford
November 14th 2022


57602 Comments


Sick gonna check this

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
November 14th 2022


18230 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'll be checking this out this week. Good job, as usual, Sunnyvale.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
November 14th 2022


4444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Thanks guys, and cheers Dewi!

GhostShelter
November 14th 2022


428 Comments


Music sounding nice; don't care much for the vocals. Will definitely give this some attention though and see how it grows on me overall.

Sevengill
November 14th 2022


10953 Comments


adding this to my to-do list

trilo
November 14th 2022


5233 Comments


couldn't get into the debut either but still gonna give this a try cuz it sounds kewl

botb
November 14th 2022


15846 Comments


On my short list of records to check soon, loved the first one

ChrimzonCanine
November 14th 2022


1850 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Aside from the weird bass near the halfway point it’s not bad

0xME
November 14th 2022


955 Comments


their debut was already good but this is a lot better! Great atmosphere

normaloctagon
Contributing Reviewer
November 14th 2022


1428 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great write-up sunny, this is incredible of course, on my second listen and slightly preferring the debut for its bleaker atmosphere, but i also love that they've upped the dreaminess on this one and it still absolutely gooooes. peerless

Blizzink
November 14th 2022


193 Comments


good shit

usually disappointed when I see the death/doom combo



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