Lost Dreams - ExhaleWe at AMG live for finding the next big thing. There’s nothing quite like picking a random promo and finding yourself immersed in a monumental album of epic scope and peerless execution. But there’s something to be said for a tasty bout of hard, fast, and stupid. And, although, it’s far from flawless, Lost Dreams delivers the goods on Exhale. This is the sixth album by the pack of Austrians with no sign of slowing down, packing a potent mixture of Sweden’s finest along with a myriad of other bands to form a sound that may not surprise but will surely entertain.

Of all these influences, the spirit of Gothenburg is dominant with Lost Dreams. The highly melodic riffing has immediate shades of the better side of In Flames, palm-muted chords with a light dusting of thrash, but the band is not afraid to branch out into blackened tremolo or adding a melancholic touch with a weeping lead guitar. The latter is found on “Deluded,” which stirs the Be’lakor pot gently and is among the strongest tracks. Elsewhere, the chorus on “Finding X” rhymes “glorious” with “victorious” and is thus obliged to channel Fate of Norns-era Amon Amarth. “Bitter Pills” pulls out a Soilwork melody and injects pummeling blastbeats and bite-size breakdowns. “Weight of the World” partakes in electronic orchestrations that add a shade of Mors Principium Est. All these influences are skillfully used to add diversity to the music, avoiding the pitfalls of ripping off other artists.

A common occurrence across all genres of music is the tendency to put the best tracks at the start of the album, what we call “front-loading.” Lost Dreams bravely buck the trend by putting the worst songs at the beginning. “Ego” and “Lethargy” adopt an off-putting gleam of metalcore, specifically in the DevilDriver-like tough guy attitude of “Ego.” I’ve never hated DevilDriver as much as most, but the bro-boasting (broasting?) was always my least favorite aspect and it’s not a pleasant introduction here. Worse are the clean vocals on “Crashing Beyond the Horizon,” which sound like the perpetrator was trying to imitate a Texan taking a dump. The album picks up from here, with one egregious exception. Like a horror movie villain, the clean vocals make a late-game return on “Purple Clouds,” along with the spoken word, to make sure it’s as shit as possible. The melancholic track is crammed with cringe in both lyrics and execution.

Lost Dreams 2017

Confident performances make up for the weaker material. The vocals abuse their mixture of harsh-but-intelligible snarl and throaty growl to maximum effect, harmonizing at the right moments to give extra punch to key phrases and employing good reach on both sets of scales. The occasionally clumsily composed vocal melodies take little away from this. The guitars possess solid technique and bring a skillful fluidity to the table, while the rhythm section is tight and precise. It’s a modern-sounding album, which means that it’s too loud and lacking in dynamics, but thankfully it’s not to a deal-breaking extent. Beyond that, the instruments are clear, the mix is balanced and lively, and the band does not find itself lacking in energy.

The first couple of tracks did not grant me high expectations of Exhale, but Lost Dreams have won me over in the end. There’s plenty of catchy low-brow Gothenburg to be enjoyed here, despite a few duds and a sound not altogether original. The hooks, the solid vocals, and the plentiful energy more than makeup for these shortcomings. These guys are not out to reinvent the wheel, demonstrated by this well-rehearsed platter. They just want to jam away with the kind of music they grew up with. With a flavorful disc like Exhale, I have no qualms about that.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Massacre Records
Websites: lost-dreams.com | facebook.com/lostdreamsmetal
Releases Worldwide: May 26th, 2017

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  • Ondřej Hanus

    Always those pompous introductions and than the average score…
    Also, first.

    • GardensTale

      If you can’t be pompous what’s the point of writing reviews in the first place?!

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        An Inferiority complex is the reviewers greatest asset.

  • Frost15


    • Zach Ward


      • Dr. Scorpion

        hem ham hem ham ×2

    • Reese Burns


    • You wot m8?


  • Wes Allen

    “…a Texan taking a dump.” Excellent comparison, sir.

  • Reese Burns

    I never knew the popular opinion on Devildriver was negative. I could never stand them, so it’s nice to hear I ain’t alone.

    • Drew Music

      I used to be able to squeeze 1-2 memorable songs out of every Devildriver album I went through, but that was about it. Not to say they are untalented, but it’s all pretty predictable and the ‘I’m a badass and you all better know it!’ lyrics just don’t do it for me. Credit where it’s due, though: I saw them back in (ugh) ’07 with LoG and Killswitch, and you would have sworn they were the main event (nope) by their performance. Those guys know what they’re doing on stage and I’d see them again without hesitation, but I’ve never really understood the hype on their songs alone.

      • Reese Burns

        I liked the song I Dreamed I Died, and checked em out based on that. I actually like the sorta over the top badass style stuff, but I couldn’t stand any of Devildriver’s other work. At least it’s better than Coal Chamber, though.

        • Drew Music

          Just about all things are, that particular entity is all but indefensible.

  • Brent Johnson

    “Come for the riffs, stay for the stupids.”
    I think AMG has a new slogan. =)

  • The Unicorn

    What In Flames *should* be doing.

    • Drew Music

      If only… I don’t know how I’d handle it if they were to ever drop a Jester Race quality album again. Like, I truly believe that I’m more prepared for the arrival of aliens, Jesus, or a new Tool album more than I am in any way prepared to accept such a thought to be even a possibility.

  • The review had me interested. The embedded track swiftly negated that interest.

  • 1 Screaming Dizbuster

    For a surprisingly good Melo Death experience check out the debut from German band Decaying Days – The Fire of a Thousand Suns. Doomy Death metal ala Before the Dawn/Insomnium

    • Alex

      I followed your recommendation and that album is awesome. Sounds like a new omnium gatherum mixed with belakor a bit. Thanks for posting that!!

  • madhare

    But why oh why the nu-metal beanie? (See, it’s all about the looks, who cares about the music… :D ) In general, the singer looks like he has read really carefully the manual “How to act like metal singer”.

    • Piet

      They all seem a little out of place imo. The shirtless drummer looks like he should be in a folk metal band while the guitarists look like old school heavy metal or thrash metalers. Regardless, I liked the song and will check out some more!

  • Not *bad*, but this song feels longer than it actually is (imo of course).
    And this clip looks really amateurish and lifeless to me, some dynamism is missing here.

    Add to that the singer with rapping gestures borrowed from some nu-metal band and you have 2.0 from me.

    When the coolest thing in a metal clip
    Is a well crafted board and set of chess,
    Next time, my dear friend, remember this tip:
    Make a lyric video instead, I guess.

    But, seriously, I want these chess.

  • 3.0 is much higher than I thought. Cheap mix/arrangement, weak ensemble, and little variety of backing riffs. Especially those no-brainer drum parts are the worst part of the album. 2.0 for me.

  • David Schaumberg

    Credit where credit is due, this is the best album they have released since End of Time.
    That being said, they’ve always been lyrically a bit dogshit so no surprises there.