I treasure albums that can whisk me away from the execrable state of things in the US right now. BleakHeart’s new album definitely qualifies, and it only gets better with time. “Dream Griever” released on October 23rd.
It’s somewhat rare to see a band of this type coming from the US. BleakHeart indeed does hail from Denver, Colorado. The band consists of JP Damron and Mark Chronister on guitars, Josh Kauffman on drums, and Kelly Schilling on vocals and keys.
The band plays an ambient, shrouded version of Gothic doom. You will hear plenty of shoegaze in their sound, as well as cinematic and poetic qualities. Yes, their sound is rather reserved, playing on the corners of your mind with occasional surges of passion and melody. Much of “Dream Griever” is hauntingly atmospheric, though, with Kelly’s wonderful vocals taking the spotlight up against tingling keyboard sensations and patient guitars. It definitely isn’t going to get your heart rate going, but it will certainly put you in a trance.
Similar to the recent album from Lethian Dreams, the album deals with inner turmoil. Unlike that album, Kelly’s vocals are mixed with fervor and vigor, so you can hear exactly what she’s saying. The lyrics deal with the turmoil we cause within and without ourselves, and the time we waste in trying to clean up our messes and in healing from self-inflicted wounds. It’s very appropriate, given the pending election.
“Dream Griever” has five songs and runs about 43 minutes in length. Each of the songs is extended in its runtime with the shortest track being over seven minutes long. I like that about this album because it gives the band time and patience to evolve and transition with sludgy yet evocative command. Indeed, the album feels much like a soundtrack in some ways, and you know I love soundtracks.
All of the songs are great, but my favorites are “Ash Bearer”, “Heed the Haunt”, and the title track. “Ash Bearer” has an absolutely searing chorus that gives me goosebumps. “Heed the Haunt” has such a riveting ambience, being almost ritualistic in quality. I love the guitars near the end and also the eerie chorus. The title track itself is over 11 minutes long, and it visits various textures and twinkling moments. I love the hovering style that allows Kelly to muse a bit, and I also love the surreal ending.
BleakHeart has a great sound, but it is one that must grow on you over several listens. I really appreciate the pensive lyrics and the poignant atmosphere, and the band simply sounds excellent. I expect that this band will put together even better offerings in the future, so they are one to watch.
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