REVIEW: Dream Disciples - "Asphyxia"

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

AsphyciaDream Disciples are a band that went through many changes, but survived a nearly every-year line-up change since 1990. Their latest full length release, Asphyxia, is just out and available at many great distribution channels in Europe and abroad; Plastichead-UK and Metropolis-USA to name two. This of course means you should expect a great release from this UK based quartet. You are not disappointed.

Dream Disciples are a flashy-sounding, alternative rock quartet. Made up (currently) of Sid Bratley and Gordon Young on guitars, Karl North on bass guitar and Col Lowing singing (with some keyboards used for augmenting the sound). As I was listening one time I jotted down in my notes, "Reminds me of The Cure, only with a few barbed wires around them." They have a strong, heavy yet soothingly melodic sound to them that I really enjoy.

Previous Dream Disciples releases have been pouring out since 1991 beginning with Veil of Tears and even including a full length live album, At the Edge of the Abyss. Recorded at the Mercat in Birmingham, UK on December 10th, 1996. They also put out the 10 track A Cure For Pain in 1996 as well, but other than the Sub Atomic CD (EP, 1997) they were relatively quiet until this year. Asphyxia is a great release to step back out with. I haven't heard anything other of theirs yet, so I can't tell you how they've grown musically over the years, but I will tell you that I really enjoy Asphyxia.

Dream DisciplesCobalt Blue is definitely one of my favorite tracks. A bit slower than the others with a sound that reminds me again of the Cure and also Tri State Killing Spree, Slow Lorries, etc. Throughout the CD you'll find that the four musicians in the group blend so strongly and complementary that the sound is powerful; it sounds like there should be more of them.

Black Widow meanwhile steps up the beats per minute and adopts a slightly electronic, dark and brooding sound. The song will break from EBM during stanzas and metal during choruses. A bit disconcerting, but I imagine it's damn fine in a pit. Opening punk-like, which was refreshing, O.P.S. is a great track. This is where the aforementioned barbed wire can turn into razor wire without the slightest hesitation - but still that smooth, melodic nature runs through. They close Asphyxia with The Misery Whip. Not the best track, but effectively closes the CD on a moody, dark note.

I welcome Dream Disciples, after a four year absence, back into the fray with a great release. I'll be adding this one to my personal collection because I like it that much. I'm sorry I haven't heard of them before. Check out their excellent website for more on these guys.


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