Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Dreaming – Puppet REVIEW

It’s been over ten years now since I last saw Stabbing Westward concert. As an enormous fan of the prog metal outfit, I was hugely disappointed when I learned of the break up. I had seen several shows of theirs, including at DV8 in SLC, UT – one of the greatest places to catch a concert until it burned down a few years ago.

Shortly after the end of SW in 2002, I began to read on message boards about a new band that singer Christopher Hall was putting together called, The Dreaming. I was, of course, excited about the news. I wasn’t sure what to think about the new project at first. If anything I was worried that nothing would come of it. Yet of any band that I have ever followed from the beginning, none have catered to their fans the way that The Dreaming have.

Let me explain.

From the beginning, they released song clips, live clips, and regular updates about the status of the band. When they released their first EP, I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to get it in the mail. And even though it was only four songs, they were all amazing and showed the kind of potential this band had. With future EP’s, including one remixes and another of all acoustic tracks, The Dreaming were a band that were without a full album release but with a decent collection of music in the hands of their fans.

Six years later in 2008 the band released their first full album, Etched in Blood, and I couldn’t have felt prouder to be a fan. I had put in the time following these guys from their beginnings and now I had an album and a tour to be excited about.

Since their incarnation, I have seen The Dreaming four times in concert and still consider myself an enormous fan. I mention all of this because, while it makes this album review completely bias, this is a band I am proud to have been following from the beginning and am ecstatic at the chance to show my support through an album review.

So anyway, this is a review after all…

Puppet, which was released in November, is the new album from The Dreaming and contains some new and some reworked previous material. I was anxious to hear some of the songs that I have been listening to over the past few years in a new light and I haven’t been disappointed by both subtle and drastic changes.

The album kicks into high gear from the beginning with the title track. Johnny Haro’s percussion starts things off with an aggressive edge that follows throughout the entire album. I especially love the vibe of the first single, Every Trace, with the simple beat that really is the driving force behind the song.

This is a very consistent album in terms of the quality of the tracks. I don’t feel like there are any filler tracks, which of course is good, because it has an album feel to it. I’ve probably listened to this from beginning to end at least thirty times since release and there isn’t a single track that I ever find myself wanting to skip.

I had read before the album release that singer Christopher Hall was considering this album to be more in line with the Stabbing Westward albums in terms of style, but one of the things I appreciate the most about these songs is the fact that this is not a Stabbing Westward album. The Dreaming have honed their sound and they have created an album that is definitely a Dreaming record. And this is good.

So suffice it to say, I love this album. Christopher Hall’s vocals are as good as I’ve heard them on past records. The percussion and guitar work is tight and creative. The songs each have their own personality.

This is a fantastic album that is still on constant rotation for listening by me and definitely one of my top albums of the year.

I look forward to seeing what the future of The Dreaming has in store for us and I look forward to continuing being a fan.

Track Listing

  1. Puppet
  2. Every trace
  3. Breathing
  4. There will be blood
  5. End In Tears
  6. Fight For You
  7. Stitches
  8. It’s no good
  9. Hole
  10. Solo Cruficixion
  11. Too Late
  12. Always and Never

Album Rating: 4.5 / 5

Album Reviewed By: Mark.HaTe


  1. Great review. I agree with the 4.5!
    Really great album.