Keeping a finger on the pulse

A Dream Within A Dream

in Explore/Issue #3/REVIEWS by

Words by Wim Van Hooste

The review was originally printed in Reykjavík On Stage (Issue 3)

It has been three years since Epic Rain released their debut album, Somber Air,on the Lucky Records label. The band is the outlet of vocalist Jóhannes Birgir Pálmason. The departure of male co-vocalist Bragi has left more space for the vocal chords of singer Ingunn Erla Sigurðardóttir. The music is rooted in underground and alternative hip-hop, but in more recent years, Epic Rain began including aspects of cabaret, dark folk, country and blues in their music. Epic Rain’s lyrics are evocative and haunting, describing in picturesque detail persons and their thoughts and actions in a menacing and mad world.

Surprisingly, Dream Sequences  opens with the pumping instrumental track, ‘Dream Sequence 1’, driven by Maggi’s percussion. Magnús Trygvason Eliassen is without a doubt the most eruptive drummer boy of the island (collaborator/member of ADHD, amiina, Seabear, Sin Fang, Mr. Silla & Mongoose, Tilbury, Borko, just to name a few!). The opener is quite spooky and a perfect prelude for track #2, ‘A Night Like This’. Jóhannes’s staccato vocals and creepy lyrics are in deep contrast with Ingunn Erla’s angelic voice. Vocalist Joey’s characteristic cadence is in concordance with the military percussion in‘62’Mustang’, a song about the shopping list of a murderer. Like a ‘Dial M for Murder’by Alfred Hitchcock. In ‘Black Hooded Cloak’, girly Ingunn Erla sings about the boyz in the hood. This devilish song wears Prada and has a fantastic finale. ‘Dream Sequence 2’ and ‘Dream Sequence 3’ perfectly fit into the creation of the apocalyptic atmosphere. The track ‘Disguisement’ echoes Sir Alfred Hitchcock in every groove. This time North by Northwest. Strings open the song ‘Monday Morning’, a soundtrack illustrating the awakenings of Scarface, who definitely doesn’t like manic Mondays. In ‘Orrore’, Ingunn Erla is able to demonstrate both her acting skills as Scarface’s victim and her vocal capacity by going as deep as Marianne Faithfull and Amanda Lear. ‘Dream Sequence 4’ is the mysterious mix of a post-mortem apotheosis and catharsis.

Dream Sequences is an album that is meant to be listened to all the way through as in one take. The lyrics are as gloomy and doomy as before. The music has an extra feature –the fantastic female touch of Ingunn Erla –and the clash of Joey’s and Ingunn’s inputs makes their combined output outstanding.

Epic Rain – Dream Sequences:
1. Dream Sequence 1
2. A Night Like This
3. 62’Mustang
4. Black Hooded Cloak
5. Dream Sequence 2
6. Dream Sequence 3
7. Disguisement
8. Monday Morning
9. Orrore
10. Dream Sequence 4


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