Calling a band “female-fronted” nowadays is so common. While it might be somewhat factual, it is blatantly misogynistic. The other baggage that often accompanies bands labeled as “female-fronted” is they they are actually a symphonic metal ban with an operatic singer, who just happens to be female. These bands have a sameness to them. Epica, Nightwish, Within Temptation, etc etc. These bands are extremely popular but (for me) offer nothing new or unique.
Dreamgrave are NOT part of that group of bands. Dreamgrave have a female vocalist in Mária Molnár and yes she can sing quite operatic when needed, but her voice is more like another instrument that is used when needed. Musically, Dreamgrave are dark progressive metal. They are far more technical than the aforementioned bands but never to the point of showing off. They are also darker and much more evil.
The key for me is that Dömötör Gyimesi is possibly more the actual front person of the band than Mária Molnár. His guttural harsh vocals always fit the music which allows Molnár to be better utilized when a higher melody is required. For as much as Epica tries to do this, Dreamgrave do it MUCH better. Plus the songs on “Presentiment” are just really good songs. Without good music, it really doesn’t matter how great your vocalist is.
The album kicks off with a dramatic instrumental “Etheral Eternity” which sets the stage perfectly for the next track “Black Spiral” which serves notice that the album has a musicality that all prog metal fans will enjoy. Keyboardist János Mayer has an amazing solo in this track as well. The song even has some outstanding blast beats from drummer Jenő Miklós Godó.
“Memento Mori” is one of my favorite tracks because Gyimesi shows off his clean vocals. Granted the vocals don’t start until 4 and a half minutes in! Before that the song has some flat out insane instrumental parts that Dream Theater fans will enjoy, the soloing is amazing. Melodic, heavy and powerful: the three things that I love most about what Dreamgrave does all throughout “Presentiment.”
The two part title track is another major highlight of this album. I love that Mayer uses more “old school” keyboards like organs to achieve a heavy sound which complements the riffing of Gyimesi and bassist Gergő Drahota. Dreamgrave are really tight. This song also showcases Molnár’s mid range vocals. Very angelic and not overly operatic. I love it!
Dreamgrave have released an album that I wish Epica would but I know better. This is not female-fronted. This is just a great band with a female in it. Dreamgrave has a style that is their own and “Presentiment” is an extremely mature from a band that I hope people will check out.
1. Ethereal Eternity
2. Black Spiral
3. Memento Mori
4. The Last Drop Falls
6. Presentiment (Part II)
7. False Sense of Confidence
8. It’s Ubiquitous