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The 2021 Dream Unending debut album Tide Turns Eternal was a marked shift in musical ambition for Derrick Vella (Tomb Mold) and Justin DeTore (Innumerable Forms, Sumerlands). While structured with a foot firmly in death / doom, a far loftier purpose and progressivism was its hallmark, as such distancing itself from others pursuing the style. Now returning only a year later with the stunning Song Of Salvation, that exploratory zeal is given substantially greater allowance to soar and shine.
The fourteen minute title-track opener enters like a morning sunrise over a calm sea before ramping up into ethereal heaviness like the richly textured waves of a sudden ocean storm. The songs momentum never retreats into laborious repetition, always opening new doorways, ebbing and flowing like river water from its source.
Like solitarily gazing at the downtown lights of the city at night from the window of a darkened room, “Secret Grief” features the guest talents of vocalist Phil Swanson and Leila Abdul-Rauf on trumpet. The tranquil interlude of “Murmur Of Voices” gives way to the evocative “Unrequited” that begins with a lonely solo guitar before transitioning into a drifting daze of afternoon reverie and subconscious meditation.
Finally comes the album’s epic bookend, sixteen minute closer “Ecstatic Reign.” It features perhaps the album’s heaviest straight doom moments along with the return of Tide Turns Eternal featured guest voices McKenna Rae and Richard Poe. Tomb Mold drummer / throat Max Klebanoff also appears for a shattering back and forth vocal tradeoff with DeTore. The album’s cinematic vision and painstaking colorful detail are fully encompassed bringing this enthralling journey to its enduring peak.
Only a year on from Tide Turns Eternal, Dream Unending’s rapid evolution on the boundless panorama of Song Of Salvation is, crucially and intrinsically, a continued departure from limiting genre norms and an adept redefining of them.