You might have noticed that some of us on the blog staff really love Synthwave and Retrowave. And why wouldn’t we? There’s so much in it that appeals to us, both musically and culturally. Some of it is enjoyable simply because it sounds great; most of it enjoys the added bonus of being culturally interesting, looking back on cultural and historical movements with a critical eye. And some of it is just damn FUN. Case in point: Dance with the Dead. This project straddles the boundaries between synthwave, EDM and plain old dance with its catchy beats and larger than life synth lines. However, it also incorporates a hefty deal of metal influences, with some of the tracks being downright heavy. On the newest release, B-Sides: Volume 1, these influences have really been brought to the forefront. Just listen to the opening track below:
Holy crap, right? Those blast beats blend insanely well with the rest of the aural pallet, to channel and go further the retrofuturism from soundtracks or video game music from the 80’s. The choruses, heavily drenched in synths as they are, remind us of Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas which is always an incredible thing. While the metal influences are more toned down through the rest of the album, they make their appearance on guitar lines and solos present throughout the entirety of B-Sides: Volume 1. Other interesting influences aren’t missing either, with ethereal and operatic vocals on “Stoic” for example, and they blend in very well with the more metallic and rock n’ roll influences from the first few tracks.
Bottom line, this album is excellent and we urge you to dig deeper into their discography as well. Dance with the Dead is a unique project which showcases the power and appeal of a varied approach to synthwave, integrating more modern approaches right alongside the nostalgia. Hopefully, that Volume 1 at the end of the album’s name hints that there’s plenty more where this came from, because we can’t wait.