That said there are some songs with guest vocalists, and the songs without are certainly not lacking because of the absence. There’s some pretty heavy hitters on here like Lajon Witherspoon from Sevendust and TesseracT’s Daniel Tompkins all delivering powerful performances to match the instrumentals. Daniel Tompkins emotional delivery on the title track A Dream In Static offers a nice juxtaposition to the backdrop of the heavy guitar and bass work. It feels like being trapped in a storm at times. One thing Earthside absolutely nailed on here is the atmosphere, every song manages to invoke some sort of emotion or imagery in your mind.
A lot of progressive metal bands tend to incorporate keyboards and electronics into their work. Often times those pieces can get lost among the others, this however is not the case with Earthside. The keyboards never feel out of place, nor do they feel overwhelmed by the other instruments. They feel like a necessary and integral part of the sound that never clash with the overall sound. They even manage to steal the show at times and can end up sending shivers down your spine.
It’s hard to imagine that A Dream In Static is not the 10th album from these guys but the debut. The amount of polish is just unheard of for a debut. Every instrument comes through and whether that’s a testament to the writing, performance, or the producing is irrelevant when it’s speeding to your ear drums. The album sounds big and powerful when it needs to with a backing orchestra and some extreme vocalists, and calmer when it needs to be soft to set a mood or create build up.
The amount of dedication the guys in Earthside have to their instruments and to music in general really comes through in every song on their fantastic debut A Dream In Static. Metal can be a ruthless genre, and progressive metal especially so but they nailed it by releasing something that manages to use music to create mood and atmosphere. It’s an album you can throw on, lay back, and find your mind transported somewhere else. Or an album you can dissect over and over for fantastic structure and writing. It has mass appeal, something difficult in the unforgiving world of progressive metal. Earthside have truly come out swinging with this debut. If you haven’t heard of them before, A Dream In Static is the perfect time to get to know Earthside.
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Disclosure: I am currently involved with the band