Haste the Day – Dreamer

By Michael Mayer III on November-18-2008 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : | Share

Haste the Day – Dreamer
Score: 5/5Score: 5/5Score: 5/5Score: 5/5Score: 5/55
4.6 (5 votes)

Artist: Haste the Day
Album: Dreamer
Label: Solid State
Release Date: October 14, 2008
Review by: Michael Mayer III

Tracklisting:

  1. 68
  2. Mad Man
  3. Haunting
  4. Resolve
  5. An Adult Tree
  6. Babylon
  7. Invoke Reform
  8. Sons of the Fallen Nation
  9. Labyrinth
  10. Porcelain
  11. Autumn

Every now and then an album comes along that is so surprisingly addictive you just don’t know what to do. That moment came for me with Dreamer from Haste the Day. I really wasn’t expecting much since I didn’t own any of their earlier work, mainly because it didn’t strike me as unique enough to stand out. Yet here I was taking a chance on a new album thanks to the good word of mouth I’d heard from a few friends heavily into this sort of metalcore music. Obviously my lack of knowledge of this band’s back catalogue and how they’ve changed (though I am aware of the vocalist change prior to Pressure the Hinges) makes my perspective a bit different from older Haste the Day fans, but I do know what I consider to be key parts to make a great album and Dreamer has all of those things.

The songs on this album can be summed up with a few words: ‘epic’, ‘anthemic’, ‘uplifting’, and of course, ‘brutal’. Those are good building blocks to start with and depending on what you look for in an album you may already be intrigued. The vocalist, Stephen Keech, has a low guttural growl of a scream that immediately stands out and from what I’ve heard he’s much improved. So much so that a few fans I know didn’t even believe it was the same guy. Rest assured, his intensity is well heard on the opening track, ’68’, as it builds up to a fantastic breakdown and you can just imagine the energy it would create in a concert. One thing is for sure, these guys know how to do a breakdown well and make it feel just right. The drummer is also extremely talented with the quickest double bass onslaught I’ve ever heard. This is especially apparent in ‘Mad Man’ where my jaw literally dropped as my brain frantically struggled to comprehend what it was hearing. The guitar riffs are just as amazing during the heavy tracks as the chords are during the slower songs as well.

Technical ability is all well and good but the question always is: ‘Does it fit the song?’ In this case it certainly does and all of it builds up wonderfully with, perhaps my favorite part about this CD, the vocal harmonies and singing. I wasn’t really expecting the epic choruses as the band harmonizes in a way few bands do. It’s really hard to explain just how good it is and with every spin of this album I realize that those very harmonies are a key reason why Dreamer is so uplifting for a heavy album. Practically every song has a catchy, anthemic chorus that is nigh impossible to resist singing along with. No doubt I’ve looked like a fool in my car as I’ve sung along horribly. ‘An Adult Tree’ is the song that epitomizes all of this and it’s easily my favorite on the album. It starts off with some calm singing before the screaming kicks in and the song constantly builds through the chorus with the band singing ‘oooh’ in the background behind more brilliant singing. By the end you’ll be left wondering how a song can build and peak so perfectly.

This is what Haste the Day have done so well on this album. They’ve put guttural screaming, beautiful harmonies, brutal drumming, and sweeping guitars in a big smelting pot to craft an epic album with just the right touch of everything. Even the tracks are placed with a strong flow in mind and when you get to the etheral ‘Labyrinth’, which wouldn’t feel out of place on some progressive rock masterpiece, it doesn’t lose a step. The last track, one from the old days from what I understand, is a melancholic one with Stephen’s voice soaring and adding the final touch to a fantastic album. Regardless of how others may feel about Dreamer, I know it’s one of the best of the year and surpasses other heavy hitters in this genre.

Gems of this album are: ‘An Adult Tree’, ‘Resolve’, ’68’, ‘Invoke Reform’

Haste the Day - Dreamer, 4.6 out of 5 based on 5 ratings

Click here to list all the current reviews by Michael Mayer III

18 Responses to 'Haste the Day – Dreamer'

  1. jesstaylor says:

    Granted I love this band.
    Like they are MY band and I will always stick by them- but this may be a little high. lol

    I love the album though.

  2. Stefcore says:

    You really think this is brutal?? !!

  3. bobbythebuff says:

    I saw them in atlanta this past saturday on the anti mother tour and i didnt think their new songs were gunna sound good at all but i couldnt have been any more wrong. The new songs live were absolutely amazing and have inspired me to actually go and get the album.

  4. thirdsaint says:

    Man, you’re lucky bobby. I wanted to see them on that tour but I had already seen Underoath the week before and was strapped for cash. I really believe these songs would be amazing live so I’ll be sure to catch them the next chance I get.

    And yeah, my score is high for some people but for me it’s just right. It’ll be in my top 3 for best of 2008 and the score reflects that.

  5. tyler h says:

    thirtsaint…i want to see you write a review for something you don’t like that much :)

  6. thirdsaint says:

    Haha, I would do that more often if I had the money to buy bad albums. :-P

    As it is, money is tight and I only buy music I know I’ll like. Every now and then I’ll get a disappointment (such as Leeland, The Afters, and a few others earlier in the year) but I’ve picky with what I buy. I get maybe 15 CD’s in the year it’s released per year so that doesn’t leave much in the way of experimentation. :-/

  7. tyler h says:

    Brandon…send this man some radio rock to review! I hereby claim all rights to anything pop punk though hahaha :)

  8. Blair says:

    no pop punk. you will just hurt his ears!

  9. Brandon says:

    Radio rock! I gotta love that. Well I haven’t gotten too many albums lately. It’ll probably pick up again next year when more albums are released.

  10. Manuel says:

    Red, Flyleaf, Lifehouse, The Fray, 12 Stones and Snow Patrol are all good radio rock bands.

  11. thirdsaint says:

    Manuel: And they are all bands I probably wouldn’t rate too highly, haha. Well, that’s not true as I haven’t even listened to the last 4 on that list. I know ‘of’ them but choose not to listen if I can help it. Are Snow Patrol Christians? If they are I never knew.

    I have a couple more reviews planned in the coming weeks though. The Listening’s EP (when it finally gets in >_<) and Neal Morse’s ‘Lifeline’ to educate those that don’t know his work. :-P

  12. Manuel says:

    Wow, you should really try giving 12 Stones a listen. Their newest album is great.

    You’ve never heard Lifehouse? :?

    Supposedly two of the guys in Snow Patrol were raised in the christian fatih, I’m not sure if they are “saved” though.

  13. thirdsaint says:

    Ah, I see. I liked one song by Lifehouse, that ‘Everything’ one or whatever it’s called. Fantastic song that shows the talent they have but it’s too bad that they’re closer to a boy band than a rock group. I just can’t take them seriously.

    12 Stones on the other hand, I’ve heard a song or two but nothing that’s ever caught my interest to check them out. I thought their most recent release was their last album and they were done or am I mistaken?

  14. Manuel says:

    You sir, are mistaken on so many levels. They aren’t going anywhere; on the contrary, they are gaining mainstream momentum quite rapidly.

    I have no idea why you can’t take Lifehouse seriously, they are nothing like a boy band, they don’t look like, sound like, or write lyrics like one.

    Third saint, I notice that your posts tend to subtley ruffle more than a few feathers. :-)

  15. Tyler.H says:

    I got a 12 stones CD for free a few months ago…ummm…did not like.

    the fray are more pop rock that is played on the radio than what i would classify as radio rock, i know, confusing, right? hahaha.

  16. thirdsaint says:

    Haha, sorry about that Manuel. An ex-girlfriend of mine once told me I was really argumentive and I think she was right. I don’t intentionally do it, but I do like to debate. :-P

    If 12 Stones isn’t breaking up maybe they are worth giving a shot. I hate investing time into bands that have already broken up unless they have an extensive back catalogue. Dead Poetic did that to me and I still cry myself to sleep at night… O_o

    As for Lifehouse, I always heard boy band music about relationships and it didn’t help at all that a ton of girls were wearing their shirts everywhere thinking they were ‘so hot’. I’m probably being unfair but if they have any more songs like ‘Everything’ then I’ll gladly listen. The drama team at my church did a really awesome skit to that song and it’s powerful.

  17. Brandon says:

    I never dug 12 Stones. I always thought they were cut from the same mold as Creed which is a band I can’t stand. Lifehouse is cool, in fact I picked up their latest not too long ago. Snow Patrol and The Fray are some of my favorites of the radio rock club, along with One Republic and Coldplay. I suspect the band MIDNIGHT HOUR will follow in the footsteps of the afformentioned bands and you’ll hear them all over radio.

  18. One Crushing Blow says:

    I love this cd, but the only complaint I had was with the solo, in I think track 5? Can’t think of it right off hand. But man, it was too short. Freaking tease.

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