Release Date: 18th February, 2020
4. Red Sun
5. Black Or White
6. Jazz Bar
8. In The Frozen
9. Daybreak (새벽)
10. Full Moon
11. Over The Sky (하늘을 넘어)
13. Scream (instrumental)
14. Paradise (Siyeon solo track)
To further explore the depths of their nightmarish world, Dreamcatcher have released Dystopia: The Tree of Language, a long awaited feature length studio album that further showcases the groups strength in producing atmospheric music, beautiful instrumentals and powerful vocals.
With an abundance of new songs to experience – as well as a handful of previously released digital tracks – Dystopia: The Tree of Language offers a range of genres and styles to its listeners, all the while staying true to the sound and image that Dreamcatcher have been building since their debut in 2017.
With Scream acting is the title track, it feels appropriate that the song is riddled with suspense and frenzy. Enhanced by the operatic vocals, background howls and high pitched screams, Scream is the kind of nightmare that pulls you in with its enticing sound and beautiful imagery.
It’s like a ritual: innocent at first, but once you have been drawn into the song it becomes a wave of chaos and darkness, dragging you into its depths even further.
The accompanying music video is especially fitting for such a powerful track. Encompassing the beauty and darkness the sound creates, Scream looks as if it’s a distorted fairy tale in image, with most of its sequences matching the heavier tones and pacing of the song in both its use of effects and its editing style. The pacing works in line with track itself, whilst the dance shot, solo sequences, colours, lighting various other effects further enhance the vivid and menacing world that the song initially set out to create.
An appropriate leading track, Scream is truly an enigmatic piece, one that will unsettle and delight those who dare to listening.
Following Scream are some fairly strong tracks, as well as a few weaker ones. Though the theme of dystopia and darkness is generally kept throughout the duration of the album, there are some shifts in pace and style, as well as the oddball track that appears every now and again. Still, the general consensus is that every song is catchy in its own way.
Red Sun stands out as one of the more interesting tracks on the album next to Scream. Inherently creepy, the sound of Red Sun is reminiscent of children’s music boxes and fits perfectly into this idea of being trapped in a nightmare. With the added effects of childish laughter, the song will certainly leave an impression on the listener thanks to its unsettling melody.
SAHARA and In The Frozen are also worth a listen on this album, with the former being a tension-riddled track that evokes both power and ambition throughout its duration. SAHARA is a serious, somewhat exotic track that feels unique against a few other songs here, but still manages to impress thanks to its sound. It feels full and vibrant, and is a great track to get into.
On the other hand, In The Frozen focuses more on the emptiness of its sound. With a lot less vocal and lyrical padding compared to other songs on the album, In The Frozen can seem a lot less impactful than SAHARA, however it is just as impressive in sound. There are some beautiful moments in this track, and with the use of the trance genre throughout the instrumental breaks it becomes a truly atmospheric and image-heavy song.
Though the album has plenty of strong and memorable tracks, there are one or two oddballs thrown in there that break up the tension and flow of Dysoptia: The Tree of Language. Of course these songs will appeal to some fans, however others might find the inclusion of them a little more than off-putting.
Jazz Bar is one such song, and though it sounds pleasant and true to its name, it only manages to break the atmosphere of the album and the story it had created. As the song stands at #6 on the track listing, it only serves to disrupt the overall product right in the middle of your listening pleasure.
The last few songs include some of the groups previously released tracks. Full Moon, Over The Sky and Siyeon’s solo track, Paradise, will end the album for listeners. All three songs are a good listen, with Full Moon and Paradise fitting the albums theme perfectly, however it would have been nice to see the songs sprinkled throughout the album amongst the newer songs, as opposed to all being lumped together at the end.
Paradise’s position is especially jarring. With it being tacked onto the very end of the album – right after Outro and the instrumental for Scream – it feels as if the song was a last-minute addition, and no thought was put into its placement.
Dystopia: The Tree of Language is quite possible Dreamcatcher’s best release to date. With a variety of sounds, powerful vocals and an array of new and exciting songs, this release has everything a fan and casual listener could ask for. It has been three years in the making, but Dreamcatcher’s first feature length studio album was worth the time it took.
It’s worth your time and multiple loops. Enjoy.