4 of the best metal albums about dreams
A handful of heavy music's best explorations into the dreamworld
In the new issue of Metal Hammer, we talk to Between The Buried And Me about their new album Automata I. It's the first of two records to come from BTBAM this year, and it follows on from similar themes that the band have touched upon in the past.
In Automata, the main, unnamed character wakes up alone in a cabin in the woods, and frantically tries to find his wife and son. But what he doesn’t realise is that he’s actually in a dream sequence, and his dreams are being broadcasted around the world as entertainment by a company called Voice Of Trespass. It's all very Black Mirror.
In the band's 2015 album Coma Ecliptic the band explored the idea of self-induced comas, while 2011’s The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues and 2012’s The Parallax II: Future Sequence relate to connecting with others through dreams.
But Between The Buried And Me aren't the only band to base albums around our unconscious state. Here are four more records about the mind's shadow side.
Haken – Visions
London-based progressive metallers Haken are keen on concept albums, starting with their 2010 debut, Aquarius, that told a tragic story of a mermaid. For their second album, 2011’s Visions, they tell the story of a young boy who dreams of his own death, and ultimately spends the rest of his life desperately trying to avoid this fate.
Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss
Chelsea Wolfe’s fourth album includes appearances from Mike Sullivan of Russian Circles and Dan Phillips from True Widow, and explores the condition of sleep paralysis. The gothic cover art recalls Henry Fuseli’s 1971 painting The Nightmare, while the music melds doom and folk to perfectly envision the nocturnal phenomenon.
Myrkur – Mareridt
Danish singer-songwriter Amalie Bruun was inspired by her horrifying nightmares involving demonic deer and scorpions when making her latest album as Myrkur, 2017’s Mareridt. Therapy made her realise that by writing down her night terrors, she could exorcise them by transforming them into a dark piece of Nordic folk and black metal.
Brutality Will Prevail – Sleep Paralysis
The title says it all; the 2011 three-song EP from these Welsh hardcore lads explores the experience of sleep paralysis, particularly in the title track, which perfectly evokes the horror of the sensation with the lyrics, ‘I’m drowning in the sea of the unknown / My hands are tied but my eyes are blind.’