quicksand-dream_beheading-tyrantsWhen a band is so damn trve they make their fans wait 16 years for a follow up album, you know you’re dealing with some real hard asses. Quicksand Dream is their name, and the waiting game is their…game. They burst on the epic metal scene back in 2000 with their disastrously titled Aelin – A Story About Destiny debut, and though that name was like a poke in the eye, there was no denying the righteous Cirith Ungol and Brocas Helm worshiping within. It was a sound so completely lost up the ass of metal history that it became the very embodiment of “cult” and doomed the band to self inflicted obscurity. Needless to say, the long hiatus caused their small but fierce fan base to assume they were sleeping with Cthulu in R’lyeh, dead but dreaming, but lo and behold, they’ve returned with sophomore opus Beheading Tyrants. And they sound like a older, harder version of the band few once knew. Yes, it’s still olden metal worship but with a more diverse, complex execution and greater heft and power. The only thing missing is a shirtless barbarian on the cover, but we’ll overlook that for now.

Opener “Daughters of Eve” begins with tasteful noodling ripped from the 70s proto-metal era and they slowly get their Cirith on from there, with guitar screeches, Geezer Butler approved bass thumpery and classic old school metal vocals (i.e. not technically sound but still captivating and commanding). It’s still music so lost in the past it almost seems new again, but now there are hints of Slough Feg appearing in the riffing to give it a more “modern” vibe. Things get even better on “Cloud of Screams” which is a smoking rock-show with the bass-heavy swagger of classic Black Sabbath. It’s got an irresistible swing and groove that  hooks you and drags you back to the earliest days of metal. The guitar noodling is very Sabbath-friendly and shades of Iommi are plentiful.

“The Shadow That Bleeds” is an odd duck of a tune, approximating what Icarus Witch would sound like if mated with Hammers of Misfortune and Wildhoney era Tiamat. As you try to get your mind around that, I’ll just say it’s both awkward, clunky, somehow endearing and so very fookin metal. The Hammers of Misfortune and Slough Feg influence crop up thereafter too, especially on “The Girl From the Island,” making for another brisk, memorable kult gem. The standout is definitely lengthy closer “To Kill Beneath the Sun,” which is so good it shames the rest of the otherwise solid material. Here the band crafts the ultimate expression of their musical vision and it’s a sight to behold, full of moody guitar musings, epic peaks and doomy valleys. Hell, there’s even a Viking-era Bathory vibe floating within, and it’s the rare long song I wish was longer.

quicksand-dream_2016

All 7 songs are fun, classic stuff with a lot going on musically, but after a 16 year delay, the band kind of set themselves up for some unreasonably high expectations, and at 31 minutes, Beheading Tyrants seems a bit miserly. They certainly got the sound and mix right though, with a deep, rich production that lets the guitars and bass pop and crackle, while the drums sounds as organic and powerful as they should for this kind of metal, almost like they do on Epicus Doomicus Metallicus.

The bass and guitar are both handled by Patrick Backlund, and he’s expert at getting that classic Cirith Ungol sound from both instruments. It’s a weird, rickety, awkward sound, with the bass loud and present and the guitars high and trebly, but damn if it doesn’t work. His guitar noodlings are very entertaining, especially on “To Kill Beneath the Sun,” and something about his playing is almost too metal for its own good. Göram Jacobson is an unusual vocalist. At times he reminds me of Bobby Liebling (Pentagram) and other times Mike Scalzi (Slough Feg). His voice has improved enormously since the debut and his older, grittier delivery fits the music like a steel glove. I’m also a big fan of the understated druming by Henrik Högl. He has a certain flair to his playing even though much of what he does is mid-paced and unhurried.

Few ever heard of Quicksand Dream, fewer still expected to hear from them again, but the horde is back at the gates and they want you to come outside to “talk.” If you’ve been missing your required dose of trvness and alpha male metal, this is a testosterone injection and a half. In other words – oil the Sword of Wengeance, unleash the dögves of war and go find you some evil tyrants. Remain in the Hall!


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 10 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Websites: quicksanddream.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/quicksanddream
Releases Worldwide: November 11, 2016

 

 

Share →
  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    DR10? What does that mean?

    I am also confused as to whether I should remain in the hall or go monster hunting. Or are the monsters in the hall?

  • A paint by number water color cover where someone’s kid got a hold of the orange and made it just a tad more metal. Like, if you walk toward that orange, you will find metal. Maybe it’s just your keys, but it’s more metal than that Iowa landscape…

    • I believe it’s a Van Gogh….

      • hallowed

        Van Gogh’s Autumn Landscape at Dusk which in itself would be a good name for a song on the album.

        • Sounds more like Panopticon to me.

        • AnnieK13

          That’s a different painting…not the one used on the cover. Or maybe not – the colors are much different but yeah.

      • I said paint by number, they always use a famous painting. Look up the painting and you’ll see that the coloring of the actual painting is quite different. Also, visit the bandcamp page to see the truly garish orange they picked for the middle of that field… So metal.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Oh come on! Don’t criticize the cover, they only had 16 years to find something appropiate!

  • metalcasket

    Name dropping Brocas Helm, Hammers of Misfortune, Slough Feg, Cirith Ungol, Sabbath…and DR 10? I was frothing at the mouth expecting this to be a 5.0 (or 4.5) review. Surely the length couldn’t have been the only reason to take off 1.5 points. Don’t we all love Sumerlands because there’s no fat to trim? What happened Druhm?

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      This goes well together with Summerlands and High Spirits.

      • Ya think? This stuff seems more early 70s Black Sabbath, High Spirits and Summerlands are early 80s Heavy Metal/Hardrock.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Yeah, they’re meeting right at the crossroads. Quick Dream ends where Summerlands and High Spirits begin.

        • [not a Dr]

          To me, Daughters of Eve sounded like earlyish Iron Maiden.

    • The overall song quality sits around 3.5 with one or two higher level cuts.

      • metalcasket

        Haha, couldn’t ask for a more justified response.

  • WhamBamSam

    Gah. This is good stuff, and it’s reminding me to revisit Summerlands at some point. The amount of quality music this year is too much to fit into my listening rotation.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    No embedded track. Not just gonna take your word for it.

    • [not a Dr]

      What about that bancamp link? That should be trustworthy enough.

      • Oscar Albretsen

        Yeah, usually I just do spotify (Bandcamp links don’t work on my PS4), but this band is nowhere to be found on Spotify. :(

        • [not a Dr]

          The PS3 web browser sucks ass with a Slush Puppy straw. I can see why it got canned on the PS4. Bandcamp should get an app on the PSStore.

        • Antorus

          It’s not released yet. Will be on Spotify after the 18th ;)

          • Oscar Albretsen

            Cool, thanks, that’s good to know.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Respect the Druhm!!

      • Respect my authoritah!!

        • jetblindracos

          Judge Druhm,he is the law,yeah!

      • Oscar Albretsen

        Well, he’s usually right. Usually.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          You mess with the Dream… you get the Druhm

  • Feytalist

    Holy shit. This is scratching an itch that I didn’t even know I had. They’re about as old school as it gets without swinging by Iommi’s place. And it’s awesome.

    Imma go listen to some Cirith Ungol while I wait for this to drop.

  • Antorus

    that band photo demands a unicorning!

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    I frickin love this site

    Regardless of the fact I’ve been a frequenter here and on metal-fi for quite some time now, my little jab at 2016 releases being compressed to hell was still met with enthusiastic tutorage. It’s good to know new users here will be met by a helpful and uplifting community

    • Hulksteraus

      I had a laff :-)

    • [not a Dr]

      If by “helpful and uplifting” you mean “fanatical”, yeah.
      I figured that someone unfamiliar with the concept may benefit from an honest answer to your semi-trollish question.
      (Or maybe I didn’t remember seeing you around these last couple of years. You’ll never know for sure.)

  • jetblindracos

    I came here for the art photo,but the Cirith Ungol comparison got me very much interested.Thanks SD for this.

  • antitayyip

    Finger of Scorn!