Haste The Day – Dreamer

Band: Haste The Day
Album: Dreamer
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Solid State

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  

Oh, Haste the Day, you can do no wrong. With your already accessible fast driving metalcore songs that give way to memorable choruses, you fit the bill of my classic intro-level metal band label. (I should trademark that saying) I was still enjoying previous release Pressure the Hinges, and before that album’s excellence could wash off I was presented with an album that topped all of HTD’s releases to date, with the much more evolved Dreamer.

Haste the Day’s primary roots lay in the fast punk influences with the metal aspect of heavy guitars and screamed vocals. HTD’s greatest strength, however, is to balance this bouncy attack with sing-along choruses led by the dynamic Stephen Keech and his legion of backup vocals contributed by the band. While Pressure the Hinges was a refined extension of When Everything Falls, Dreamer switches gears for the band and adopts a little more metal into their game plan, while retaining the stellar choruses and overall speed and energy HTD always plays with. Although the band has slowed down enough to rid themselves of the solos on Hinges, the presence of breakdowns and refreshingly different guitar parts for HTD are a welcome addition.

As with the past two albums, HTD’s chances at a good album always hinge on the first four to five songs, and Dreamer delivers spectacularly. “68” rips out of the gate, eventually settling down to a triumphant chorus and finishing with a dominating breakdown, a trend repeated in the next three songs. Although that may worry some, the fact that Haste the Day stick to their formula while varying the songs enough to give them their own identity is key to the album opening. “Mad Man” and “Haunting” are amazing songs each, with great choruses unlike any others in HTD’s history, and are supplemented with excellent high energy breakdowns. “Haunting” especially sticks out, with the drum-dominated intro to the concluding breakdown riff that ends the song as fierce as it began. “Resolve” is my personal favorite, featuring a great interlude-breakdown part near the end of the song, which showcases a bouncy harmonized riff set between thunderous guitar chugs.

After “Resolve,” the album takes a slower, yet darker approach. Here the songs leave an eerie, unsettling feeling that switches up the high energy pace that Dreamer was going at. “Babylon” is comprised of a haunting rhythm that opens in the intro and remains a common theme throughout the song. Although most of these songs are not as catchy as the first half of the album, there are still memorable moments, like “Adult Tree” and the airy chorus, featuring the title of the album (Go to bed, young dreamer…) and the passion of the chorus of “Invoke Reform.” There are twists and turns, like the reoccurring HTD theme of encompassing an eccentric ambiance track, in this case “Labyrinth,” which further expands on the dark theme for the second half of Dreamer. The album concludes with “Autumn,” a re-recording of a song off HTD’s first release That They May Know You, a passionate acoustic song that caps the album gracefully.

Based on my longer-than-usual details included in this review, you can tell I really dig this album. Haste the Day have really proven themselves on Dreamer, upping the metal and aggression while still creating compact and catchy songs. This formula makes Haste the Day and Dreamer an easy listen and easy to get into. Oh, and for those who still hesitate to acquire this album, you will be seeing Dreamer among my top 5 albums for 2008, and if you think of my list as the VIP club for albums, then I can guarantee you will want to get into Dreamer. 

 *Written By: Jacob Kanclerz*

Grade: 9/10

James Shotwell
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