Dream Or Nightmare - Dream Or Nightmare (demo)

Year of Release: 1999
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 26:21:00

Taking into consideration that this is a demo, there are two things that strike me about Ohio's Dream Or Nightmare's offering. One, that the mixing leaves a lot to be desired and two, that one can see the potential that is hidden beneath the production. In the former instance, the percussion and bass are mixed quite high, obscuring mainly the vocals, though at times even the guitar seems lost in there. Dream Or Nightmare are a darker metal band, though vocalist Javier Colon's voice is acceptably gruff. Not deathly but certainly grizzled. The more one listens from the production point of view, the more one notices the shortcomings. In fact, a recent news update from Joe Sims, the band's spokesperson and lead guitarist, noted the very same thing.

There is potential in there, as once you separate out the various elements, you see where the band are going with things. Besides Sims and Colon, the band consists of Jim Arnold on lead guitar (also), Dave Rhynard on bass and Jeff Hughes on drums. This is aggressive metal, though the runs aren't as speedy as those found in thrash and that you can (sorta) hear what Colon is singing about means it's a lot less abrasive than hardcore metal.

This demo contains four listed tracks, "Begone And Be Damned," "The Phoenix Will Rise," "Sea Of Rage," and "Conflicting Addiction." There isn't anything super special about the pieces here, but that doesn't mean they're bad ... but stylistically, there isn't anything unique about Dream Or Nightmare. A final analysis can't really be made until these pieces are heard in their final (and better mixed) form.

There is a unnamed bonus track which is unlike anything else on the CD. As this is a CDR, it makes me wonder if it isn't actually a CDRW and this extra bit is left over from some previous recording. Of course, the band wouldn't really do that. This extra bit is darkly ambient - ominous bass slowly throbs, keys breathe gently ...a bit of backwards masking... What it sounds like, folks, is being inside an oxygen mask, listening to the heart monitor peep, all with a soundtrack. Piano enters the mix. Here's the thing that's weird -- the sound mix is much clearer than the rest of the CD. This is very very gloomy and depressing, mournful and funereal.

[Aug 2009: Over the past 2 years or so, Sims has been active in resurrecting Axemaster, a band that first formed in the mid-80s -ed.]

Begone And Be Damned / The Phoenix Will Rise / Sea Of Rage / Conflicting Addiction

Javier Colon - vocals
Joe Sims - lead guitar
Jim Arnold - lead guitar
Dave Rhynard - bass
Jeff Hughes - drums

Dream Or Nightmare (demo) (1999)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: March 9th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow

Artist website: www.dreamornightmare.com
Hits: 722
Language: english


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