With a name like DREAMSPY, one would expect some over-the-top, progressive/djent type of metal. However, this one-man Finnish project that is the brainchild of vocalist/bassist Anssi Tamminen is more in line with dark rock aesthetics, having some Gothic tinges here and there. The debut album, “My Halo of Obsession,” came out on 26 June 2020 on Inverse Records.
Basing the music on drums, distorted bass, electronic beats, and vocals, the ten tracks that are on “My Halo of Obsession” are quite varied. Best described as dark, atmospheric rock, the album balances between more aggressive melodies and mellower ones. There are no guitars on this experimental album and for the most part, the music sounds good even without this instrument. Opening track “Bitter Sweet” is a quieter introduction to the album, driven mostly by bass and vocals, with an overall dark and somber ambiance to it. The second track, “For You,” is more elegant and easier on the ears, with a bit of SF vibe to it coming from the synthesizers, while the next song, “Sidetracktrain,” is dirtier, with a more palpable rockish edge to it. Roughly, these are the first three tracks on this album and it is clear that it falls into the category of good experimental music, especially considering the fact that all songs were written and produced by Anssi Tamminen.
The trio of songs that make the middle of the album – “The Mirror,” “Complicated,” and “Won’t Let You Go” – have a rather Gothic vibe to them resulting from the aggressive vocal deliveries, distorted bass melodies, and lyrical themes. It’s intriguing to see how much melody you can get from the bass, an instrument that is mostly used to give weight to the music, though in recent years it is being explored more and more. A track like “Livin’Dead” showcases how the bass can give a song both a sense of melody as well as a gloomy atmosphere. The same can be said about “This World is My Creation,” where the added synths bring more texture to the music. The title track is more upbeat and dance-friendly as the electronic overlays give it an 80s feel, whereas closing number “In Badlands” has some more murky soundscapes to it. Anssi Tamminen’s vocal delivery is also worth mentioning, as his vocals range between almost whispers to higher notes and can go from delicate to aggressive, depending on the song. And a song like “The Mirror” is a great example of how versatile his vocals can be.
To conclude, “My Halo of Obsession” is an easy and enjoyable album to listen to, as it provides some refreshing soundscapes and overall good music. It doesn’t feel formulaic or repetitive in any sense, as there’s always something new to catch the listener’s attention.
Written by Andrea Crow
- Bitter Sweet
- For You
- This World Is My Creation
- The Mirror
- Won’t Let You Go
- My Halo of Obsession
- In Badlands