Album Review – Dreams In Darkness / The Souls Pit (2020)

A lugubrious fusion of Gothic and Black Metal made in Argentina by “the soul that cultivates melancholy as a way of seeing the world.”

Dealing with delicate topics such as death, depression, fears and loneliness, Gothic/Black Metal act Dreams In Darkness was born back in 2016 in Tucumán, the most densely populated (and the second-smallest by land area) of the provinces of Argentina, inspired by the music by iconic bands the likes of Lacrimosa, Draconian and My Dying Bride, describing themselves as “el alma que cultiva la melancolía como forma de ver al mundo”, which in English translates as “the soul that cultivates melancholy as a way of seeing the world.” After the releases of their debut self-titled album in 2016 and their sophomore effort Dark Silence in 2018, it’s time for lead singer Giselle Stoker, keyboardist and vocalist Martin Tenebris, guitarist and drummer Cristian Bertrand and bassist Gabriel Nonasco to strike again with their third opus, entitled The Souls Pit, continuing the path of darkness, melancholy and solitude they have been paving since their inception a few years ago.

And melancholic, acoustic guitars ignite the obscure Carrion for the Vultures, where all keys and its background atmosphere remind me of the early days of Cradle Of Filth, while Giselle sounds like a true she-demon with her raspy gnarls, grasping like a Black Metal beast. In the excellent Dark Silence… Desolation, a well-balanced fusion of the most mournful form of Gothic Metal with the austerity of Black Metal, we’re treated to lyrics that exhale anguish and pain (“Bleeding, / Wailing, / In a sky so black, / Dark and immense, / That burns my body. / Screaming in the nothingness, / The crying of the soul, / An imposing emptiness, / That destroys my being.”), and after the cryptic and atmospheric interlude titled Spectral Voices the quarter returns in full force with the grim Bleeding, offering our ears a fusion of blast beats and demonic roars with serene key notes and a sense of hopelessness. Furthermore, the music feels very theatrical from start to finish, with Cristian and Gabriel hammering their stringed axes beautifully in what’s perhaps the creepiest of all songs from the album. And once again with Cristian delivering a solid riffage while Martin keeps the ambience as phantasmagorical as it can be, When the Candles Burn is a slow and steady tune presenting elements from Doom Metal, spearheaded by the scorching gnarls by Giselle.

The interesting ¡Oh… Muerte! is a lugubrious composition led by Martin’s melancholic keys and piano notes where Giselle “abandons” her demonic side and cleanly and stunningly declaims the song’s poetic words in her mother tongue, setting the tone for Beyond the Astral Boundaries, a dark, epic and imposing instrumental extravaganza where Cristian delivers at the same time scorching riffs and intricate beats and fills while Gabriel brings the groove with his bass jabs. In The Hunter we face more of their infernal words powerfully vociferated by Giselle (“I found myself, / In the darkness of my fears. / I become my demons. / And like a wild bird, / Into the forest I sheltered.”), with the entire band generating a fantastic hybrid of Symphonic Gothic and Black Metal with classic Doom Metal with their respective instruments, before another round of vampiric metal music penetrates deep inside our damned souls in the title-track The Souls Pit, where Giselle keeps growling nonstop accompanied by the vicious beats by Martin and the always sulfurous guitar lines by Cristian.

If your souls gets darker and your blood flows stronger through your body to the sound of Gothic and Black Metal, you should definitely give Dreams In Darkness a chance by listening to The Souls Pit in full on YouTube and on Spotify, as well as by following the band on Facebook and on Instagram, by subscribing to their YouTube channel, and by grabbing your copy of their newborn spawn from Apple Music or from Amazon, darkening the skies of heavy music even more. It’s not everyday that we have the pleasure of listening to metal bands from Argentina here on The Headbanging Moose, especially ones as obscure and cryptic as Dreams In Darkness, but whenever that happens we’re always happy to see South American extreme music is alive and kicking, proving once again why the continent has some of the craziest and most passionate fans in the world and why we should keep turning our attention to underground bands like those talented Argentinian vampires.

Best moments of the album: Dark Silence… Desolation and The Hunter.

Worst moments of the album: When the Candles Burn.

Released in 2020 Shadows of Death Records

Track listing
1. Carrion for the Vultures 4:43
2. Dark Silence… Desolation 6:08
3. Spectral Voices 1:38
4. Bleeding 7:30
5. When the Candles Burn 7:03
6. ¡Oh… Muerte! 3:12
7. Beyond the Astral Boundaries 4:09
8. The Hunter 8:28
9. The Souls Pit 5:17

Limited Edition CD Jewel Case bonus track
10. The Souls Pit (Demo) 5:20

Band members
Giselle Stoker – lead vocals
Martin Tenebris – keyboards, vocals
Cristian Bertrand – guitars, drums
Gabriel Nonasco – bass