Though that was certainly true of Near Dark, the album I focused on that day, I couldn’t have been more wrong about Dance with the Dead in general, which they forcefully proved to me with their metal as fuck 2016 release The Shape.
Earlier this year they returned with B-Sides: Volume 1, an album that solidifies Dance with the Dead’s sonic persona as masters of synthwave’s heaviest jams. Album opener “Get Out” could pass as a metal song — with its galloping pace, thrash and death metal riffing, whammy dives and borderline blast beats — if not for its reliance of razor-sharp analogue synth lines in place of vocals. The guitar solo on “Stoic” shreds with the best of them. And even the eminently danceable numbers like “The Man Who Made a Monster” incorporate chugged riffing and, once again (to my delight), whammy dives where they’re completely unnecessary (but in the best way possible). Every track, it seems, has either chugged rhythm guitars under the synth veneer, searing leads, or both. It’s fucking glorious.
Check out B-Sides: Volume 1 below. Let’s get this band out on the road for a full tour already instead of the piecemeal one-offs they’ve been doing, shall we? Where were they during Synthwave Spring 2017? C’mon, guys! I don’t wanna have to travel to Baltimore to see them… but I will, if necessary.