March 5, 2021 Dreamshade – A Pale Blue Dot (Album Review)
Ten years since their debut album, What Silence Hides, the Melodic Metalcore band Dreamshade will be releasing their fourth full-length album, A Pale Blue Dot, via self-release on March 5, 2021. The record was mixed and mastered by Grammy Award nominated Danish Producer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe), who also produced Dreamshade’s second record, The Gift Of Life, in 2013.
Dreamshade consists of original members Kevin Calì (vocals), Fernando ‘Fella’ Di Cicco (guitars, vocals), Gian-Andrea Costa (bass, programming), and Luca Magri (guitars, programming). In 2019 the band welcomed their new Drummer Francesco ‘Fry’ Ferrini to their lineup, who had been a long-time fan before joining the group. Since joining, Ferrini has assisted in reigniting the creative spark the band was lacking for some time.
Taking a step back to observe humankind and the planet, as a whole, everything vital for us on Earth seems just so irrelevant in the grand scheme of the Universe. Exploring this idea, Dreamshade bestows effortless lyrics and riffs with melodic edge throughout the collection, whose namesake is derived from astronomer Carl Sagan’s famous 1994 book Pale Blue Dot.
Before getting into the album, two notable features include New York based Italian Popstar Rose Villian on tracks “Stone Cold Digital” and “Nothing But The Truth,” as well as Darkest Hour’s John Henry. But more on that later.
They start off hot and heavy with “Safe Harbour,” loud and in your face, grabbing the listener’s attention without a fair warning. Before you know it, the song is over and fades right into “Lightbringers.” One of the first singles of the album, consisting of bright, technical ’80s face-melting riffs and a mixture of clean and screamed vocals, it is apt to satisfy new fans and devoted ones alike. As will “Question Everything,” which could be described as an anthem of angst. “Stone Cold Digital,” featuring Villain, begins with a totally different sound, showing off with Rap Rock Linkin Park vibes. The ending of the song will have listeners craving more of Villain’s beautiful voice as it adds dimension to the later part of an amazing offering on the album.
The second half of the record holds the album’s most coveted tracks. “Shanghai Nights” and “Elephant” produce energizing guitar riffs and a heaviness that isn’t to be reckoned with. As the tracks hit double digits, “Somewhere Else” and “On My Own” share meaningful, relatable lyrics that listeners will connect with. The combination of Ferrini’s fast pounding drums, Calì’s vocals, and Di Cicco’s ripping guitar solo is accompanied by Henry of Darkest Hour making “Nothing But The Truth” unmistakably the highlight of this album. Though, saving the best for last, “Save This,” features gang vocals sung by 517 fans from 70 countries via Whatsapp. Clean guitars, no synth, no BS; just a solid note to end the album.
With there being 14 tracks, each song presents something a little different than the last. While a handful of tracks might stray far from their Melodic Metalcore roots, A Pale Blue Dot delivers a solid experience from top to bottom, though the jury is still out on if the Rock Rap additions fit in
with Dreamshade’s vibe. Meanwhile, the addition of Ferrini, as well as the special appearances by Villian, Henry, and the 517 fans, lift the album to the upper echelon of Dreamshade’s outings. For this, Cryptic Rock gives A Pale Blue Dot 4.5 out of 5 stars.