I have no idea what is going on here. Not really. Oslo band Dreamarcher are a completely new name to me. This short EP is apparently a concept EP about the town Harding and its history, particularly around industrialisation. Most significantly though there is a bewildering array of influences on display in its twenty odd minutes.
Opening track ‘Dalen’ begins with a melody that immediately transports me back to 1977 and late punk/early new wave singles before it’s pummelled into a kind of black metal/post rock riff ‘n’ howl which breaks out into some kind of clean vocal pop song. Ooookaaayyy…Second track ‘Aske’ begins in a typical post rock sludge kind of riff, think early Isis with Amenra before drifting into the kind of jagged little chopped riffs and clean vocals with backing howls that Opeth used. It fades in and out of a latter day Katatonia vibe with a clean singing refrain. For some reason known only to myself I keep hearing strains of Refused too. Finished? Nah. ‘Omuta’ begins pure Katatonia circa Viva Emptiness, sewn into something that is midway between Refused and Drowningman. And scratchy violin. And an Ulver vibe around Perdition City times.
Ambitious isn’t the word. I guess the problem is at first this is like a shrapnel bomb going off in the dusty corners of my album collection. On the other hand it genuinely never feels like these are patchwork songs with ugly seams. They actually flow. For the myriad styles on show that in itself is worthy of praise. ‘Dalen’ in particular, even if the vocals teeter perilously close to emo,, is a fine song.
There is nothing remotely bad here. It is bright, refreshing and intelligent. My only issue is twenty minutes as in introduction to the band leaves me none the wiser. Not my natural musical ground but I think I want to hear a full length, if only to find my footing with this eclectic mix.