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Back From The Dead
(Psychedoomelic Records)

I have never fully recovered from my first hearing of DREAM DEATH absolute masterpiece "Journey Into Mystery" back in 1987. I remember vividly the circumstances surrounding this event in my personal life. I was laughing out of happiness so much I found this LP almost too much to be true! Now, 18 years later, it is time to (re) discover the demo legacy of this fantastic act. "Back From The Dead" is the collection of all the demo material (13 songs) ever laid down by DREAM DEATH, and the result comes out unreal! The layout of the CD is absolutely fantastic and put together with taste and concern for the music fans: all the lyrics are printed, the cover of the three demos are reproduced inside the booklet, and guitarist Brian Lawrence graces us with his honest thoughts about the life and death of DREAM DEATH. What strikes me the most is the fantastic sound quality of all the tracks, I think a serious remastering job occurred here, the dynamic blows out the speakers! So don't expect a hastily put together product, but instead an essential piece of art to add in your record collection. Now to the music: "Back From The Dead" offers the opportunity to discover never-heard before DREAM DEATH tracks to people who - like me - didn't took part to the tape-traders circuit twenty years ago. Let me tell you that the material which didn't make out on "Journey Into Mystery" is not miserable left-over, but fierce examples of highly original Death / Doom. The bulk of this material belongs to the first 1986 demo, with no less than four tracks ('Rhaizes Shadows', 'Meet Thy Maker', 'Wolves Bane' and 'Under The Blood Red Moon') proving that the DREAM DEATH trademarks were established right from the start: adventurous song structures, superior drumming parts courtesy of Mr Mike Smail (this guy has tentacles or what?), hateful vocals of Brian Lawrence (certainly the main attraction here!) and of course gloom and doom guitar parts. And even the tracks known through the official album appear here on very convincing alternate versions, and guess what, I even prefer them in their demo format! Indeed, I have always thought that how good "Journey Into Mystery" actually is, the production of the album doesn't do justice to the quality of the compositions. DREAM DEATH sound ten times heavier and brutal on demo, unreal! Add to this the pleasure to discover that the 'Back From The Dead' song was in fact primitively preceded by an instrumental intro entitled... 'Journey Into Mystery'! And believe me, this is the stuff that could have made Tom "don't call me Warrior ever again" Gabriel Fischer jealous. The three last tracks of this CD present DREAM DEATH on a slightly different angle, the band sound here more frankly classic Doom, let's say a little more polished (announcing the advent of PENANCE) than before. While hearing these tunes though, I can't help but to think that Brian Lawrence's vocals inspired King Buzzo (MELVINS) a great deal! I am pretty sure I am guessing right in this case. "Back From The Dead" proves once again that DREAM DEATH invented a style one has to still find the equivalent today. The mixture of Death and Doom with a Thrash edge they concocted in their infernal cauldron still smokes as in their first days of existence. Thanks to Mark Hegedus (Psychedoomelic Records) and the DREAM DEATH musicians (who planned and supervised this record) for giving us the opportunity to once again journey into mystery!!!!!

Edouard Vergriete

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