I enjoyed 2016’s Fragments, so was keen to check this new album out. I’m pleased I did, as it presents the band in the best light, with a good, natural progression in sound.
Before We Vanish spends 56 minutes combining blackgaze, post-metal, and touches of depressive black metal into a well-crafted post-blackened experience. The promo blurb states appropriate band references as Alcest, Cult of Luna, Deafheaven, and Harakiri for the Sky, and to this list I would also add Amenra and Archivist. This should set the scene for Dreariness’ music nicely.
On Before We Vanish you can hear the band that made Fragments clearly, but you can also hear the progression from that album too. Before We Vanish boasts a greater breadth of delivery and emotive depth, with more emphasis on electronically-enhanced post-metal to accompany the blackgaze melancholy. This development is well-received, and Dreariness have become a stronger outfit because of it.
The songs are atmospheric and melodic. They’re rich with mood and emotion, which is the main aim of the album; to create richly emotive blackened soundscapes. This is an album of dark beauty and despondent grace. The blackened aspects of the music are not ever present, and sometimes take a back seat to the shoegaze and post-metal ones. Certainly the band have downbeat aggression in their repertoire, but they also have soft reflective introspection, and they utilise both well.
Before We Vanish describes a conceptual journey into an intelligently-crafted and well-rounded world. Dreariness have improved their sound by a significant amount, and Before We Vanish is their best work yet.