Dreamcatcher feels like it actually did catch a series of dreams I had about seven years ago, as so very much of this record recalls a very specific hybrid of the best technical and progressive death metal acts of 2012. This California act feel like they were plucked out of a best of Sumerian Records catalog on this record, as Aenimus really embrace what made Sumeriancore so fun a half decade ago (and still).
Groups like Veil of Maya, The Faceless, Born of Osiris, Periphery, Between The Buried And Me, and even lesser-known acts like The HAARP Machine and Betraying The Martyrs are sonic reference points. Funny enough, former The HAARP Machine powerhouse vocalist Mike Semesky even lays down some fantastic sung melodies in the record’s best cut, “My Becoming,”
The idea of taking what made that tech/prog scene great a while ago and smashing it together sounds precarious but awesome in theory. Luckily, Aenimus nail the execution. Riffs are equal parts groove and flair, and the more atmospheric and melodic sections never feel out of place.
In fact, when the band get the most progressive and varied in their execution: “Eternal,” “My Becoming,” and “The Dark Triad,” notably, is when Dreamcatcher really shines. This is a band who aren’t afraid of wearing their influences on their collective sleeves, so that means Dreamcatcher isn’t the most original sound in the world. It’s also fair to say that “Between Iron and Silver” stands out as the only underwhelming (mostly because it’s overlong) number of the bunch.
Yet, because Aenimus are so adept at this progressive deathcore style, and because they fucking nail what made/makes those bands great, this record is just a blast. Just the right amount of bounce, mixed with a boatload of instantly replay-able moments, all lead to a surprise record that should feel right at home for fans of this sort of thing.