Dream Widow – Dream Widow EP
Released: March 25, 2022
Did YOU make it to any of Foo Fighters‘ recent Studio 666 screenings? We certainly did, and we loved it so much we wrote all about it (our review here). Between the stadium rockers’ recent one-off show in Geelong VIC, their upcoming Aussie/NZ tour and the incredible Studio 666 release, you’d think that Foo Fighters fix would be satiated.
Well, guess again. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you’ll want to make that a priority because it all boils down to Rock God Dave Grohl‘s integrated excuse to create fictitious outfit Dream Widow – his very own thrash/death metal EP release, and we’re glad he did. You may have already heard ‘March of the Insane‘. which came out just over a month ago – and it really gives you a taste of the calibre on this record. Oh and you now listen to the entire EP right now (SURPRISE)!
Wall of Sound were lucky enough to attend the Dream Widow pre-release listening party, and let’s just say our socks were blown off our feet. To put this release into perspective, one of the biggest rock icons on the planet felt the need to go METAL, and if you ever doubted Grohl’s capabilities to pull this off, you’ll listen to it and never have felt more shamed in your entire life. Check out the tracklisting below to get a feel of how much Grohl’s done by himself too.
It wasn’t done all by himself though, and it’s worth giving credit to the amazing Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters keyboardist) and a couple names you may not that well yet: Oliver Roman and Rami Jaffee. Roman joins from Studio 606 as an audio engineer and Rota is known as the primary songwriter and founding member of Fireball Ministry and has also toured with some of the big guns, like Dio, Motorhead, and Rob Zombie; but most important a co-producer for Studio 666.
The release is marketed as an EP, but like Bring Me The Horizon‘s Post Human: Survival Horror ‘EP’ (our review here), the Dream Widow EP not only boasts eight entire tracks, but some of them span longer than ten minutes each.
There are a LOT of surprises on this release, but given the superb cameo appearance by Slayer‘s Kerry King in Studio 666, we were both gutted and blown away that he didn’t feature at all on Grohl’s debut thrash effort. Nonetheless, we’re looking at an EP with not only the Foo Fighters‘ frontman but obviously the Nirvana drummer – on a THRASH METAL album (excuse us, we’re excited). It’s time for us to dive in for a track-by-track review.
‘Encino‘ is the the surprise release opener has an eye-watering Slayer meets blackened death metal sound that’s going to surprise the f*ck out of any ‘normie’ Fooies fan who hasn’t ventured outside known singles like ‘Times Like These‘ and ‘Learn To Fly‘. With thrashy riffs played at neck snapping velocity and gutturals galore, you’ll be questioning where and why Dave has been hiding this sound for so long!
Second track ‘Cold‘ was alluded to us as the release’s focal track featuring its ominous southern thrash style. This one is riff-focused sporting thrash licks in head bang city with the chorus repeating “I can feel red blood flowing cold/I can feel my black heart going – cooollllllld”. It’s certainly palatable for metal fans and those who are curious about making the transition from Foo Fighters into a much heavier sound. Dave’s screams are tight and if you dig guitar solos, you better bring your own cloth! The already released single ‘March of the Insane‘ steps it up to Metallica level with a major ‘Kill the Lights‘ vibe. The thrashy solo is highly technical and could only be conceived from the depths of hell.
‘Sweet Abyss‘ emerges from the darkness into a fun thrash soundtrack complete with ghoulish screams, softer clean group vocals in the chorus (which will have you singing along by the second time through) and slight Fooies styled vocals across dirty areas. The guitars are fast, absolutely bonkers and the all-in jam at the end is orgasmic. At times while air-guitaring along, it felt like an over-the-top performance of a song on Guitar Hero III – but with much better precision and talent.
For ‘Angel With Severed Wings‘, Dave channels a low key, death metal vocalist projection (akin to that of Deafheaven), for what is considered the cleanest and most palatable song on the EP so far. Its chorus combines cleans and screams together seamlessly, which could make for a fantastic sing-a-long song in a live setting. The production on ‘Come All Ye Unfaithful‘ gave off a gothic/Murderdolls feel, yet at times featured elements that sounded like ‘The Judas Kiss‘ from Metallica‘s Death Magnetic era. ‘Becoming‘ is mind-blowing heavy death metal with a gloomy intro into death growls that make your skin crawl. The song truly opens up around the halfway point and Grohl’s alluring cleans are otherworldly.
As for EP closer ‘Lacrimus dei Ebrius‘, this final track is filled to the brim with metal references from years past to now. With bands like Black Sabbath getting a nod, all the way through to Mastodon riffs and Metallica‘s slow, yet heavier sounds – it really sounds like an orgy of the best metal tracks from the past 50+ years all in one. There’s technical riff carnage in this instrumental offering that’s just ten minutes minutes and twenty seconds of pure filth. Gurns will happen and they’ll be stuck like that for the entirety of your listening experience.
But wait, there’s more…
The thrash section about halfway through will work your neck to a Corpsegrinder (Cannibal Corpse) thickness if you even try and attempt to headbang to every single beat on offer – only yielding to make way for even more solos. If there was a word bigger and better than magnum opus, it would be used for this as it gauges your attention from start to finish without any boring bits in between.
Overall, this has been an opportunity for Dave Grohl to showcase his all-roundedness as a musician and prove to any doubters out there that he can handle anything (and we mean ANYTHING!) As we joked on the listening party, we’re ready for his next project, hopefully a K-Pop album.
Dream Widow – Dream Widow EP tracklisting
1. Encino (Dave Grohl – drums, bass, guitar, vocals; Jim Rota – lead guitar)
2. Cold (Dave Grohl – drums, bass, guitar, vocals; Oliver Roman – keys; Jim Rota – lead guitar)
3. March of the Insane (Dave Grohl – drums, bass, guitar, vocals; Jim Rota – lead guitar)
4. Sweet Abyss (Dave Grohl – drums, bass, guitar, vocals; Oliver Roman – keys; Jim Rota – lead guitar)
5. Angel With Severed Wings (Dave Grohl – drums, bass, guitar, vocals; Jim Rota – lead guitar; Rami Jaffee – keys)
6. Come All Ye Unfaithful (Dave Grohl – drums, bass, guitar, keys, vocals)
7. Becoming (Dave Grohl – drums, bass, guitar, vocals)
8. Lacrimus dei Ebrius (Dave Grohl – drums, bass, guitar, vocals; Rami Jaffee – keys)