‘In case you missed it’ is our new regular feature which highlights outstanding albums, from the last 5 years, which may have passed you by.
Album: Dream Griever
Why? There’s a subtle darkness and gloom that permeates the deserts of the American Southwest and the Denver-based foursome BleakHeart captured that vibe on their 2020 opus, Dream Griever, fashioning a Southwestern gothic doom-meets-shoegaze style that’s equal parts alternative and metal. Imagine if Dylan Carlson’s Earth, with its dark and desolate twangy guitars, was crosspollinated with Portishead (sans the trip-hop), The Cure and Paradise Lost.
In 2018, BleakHeart began as a solo endeavour of Guitarist J.P. Damron (Vermin Womb, In The Company Of Serpents) until he was joined by vocalist Kelly Shilling (multi-instrumentalist and vocalist of the phenomenal Denver band Dreadnought). The duo released their striking two-song demo Death Valley Demo and dread magic was made. Dream Griever was the band’s first full-length – with Damron and Shilling joined by Guitarist Mark Chronister and Drummer Josh Kauffman – and the foursome created one of the most bleak and beautiful albums in recent memory.
Throughout Dream Griever’s 45+ minutes, BleakHeart wander through diverse and dark sonic landscapes that have hints of psychedelia and plenty of shoegazing starkness. BleakHeart rely on fuzzed-out guitars rather than heavy distortion and they drift into metallic doom territory with a more subtle approach than most bands and when they do go heavy, BleakHeart are just as powerful as any metal band. While there are similarities in tone to heavy rock band’s like Devil’s Blood and Purson, BleakHeart maintain a more modern sound with their simple and unadorned approach with Kelly Shilling’s stellar vocal work reminiscent of Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, with it’s tragic and hypnotic tone.
With Dream Griever, BleakHeart released one of the freshest albums in the oversaturated doom scene and even though some of it is heart-rending, the music can fill you with passion and energy instead of leaving you depressed. In the world of heavy music, Dream Griever is a singular and captivating album. 9/10