This year has given me a new hope for the Metalcore genre and, outside of that, a new hope for music in general. With so many gimmick bands, bands who are in it just for the money and, by extension, just in it to get famous… there are the few who create music for more than that purpose. One of those bands is a quintet out of the DFW area called Amethyst and, let me tell you, when I say these guys are impressive… I don’t say that lightly. Their debut EP Dreamwalker was released earlier this year and can stand toe to toe with the best in the genre! Vocalist Chanc Deeter’s screams pierce your soul and chill you to the bone. Meanwhile, the guest clean vocalists, Evan Robertson of Black & White (“Silence,” “Martyrs”) and Garret Parsa of A Sudden Revive (“Reverie”) soar and take the tracks they feature on to new heights. The best part of it all is the fact that it isn’t the typical, cookie-cutter sound we tend to hear (and let’s be honest… love, for the most part) from the genre. Rather, Deeter’s vocals are absolutely devastating, closer to a deathcore sound. Even with this strange combination, he uses the ins and outs of the music to really nail a sound that is both extremely heavy, while maintaining an atmospheric nature at the same time. If that surprises you, it really shouldn’t as the title of the album should say it all. A “dreamwalker” is, by definition, someone who can take control of and control the outcome of their dreams. Needless to say, this album is not for the faint of heart.
“Silence” was the first single released from the album and the accompanying video (seen below) features Evan Robertson doing his clean vocal parts. This particular track is focused on the idea of letting your voice be heard, especially when an evil entity seeks to dictate each and every moment of your life. Based on the lyrics, this track could take on a spiritual form to some and I’d be willing to believe it was meant to be seen through multiple perspectives. On another hand, it could focus on what’s going on with the world and, while we slave away, how we’re missing the big picture… the ultimate demise of our world. As Robertson sings “I just want to feel loved, I just want to feel whole. I may have been born with my eyes closed but now I see the world as it truly is!” you can feel that there’s a sense of purpose here. This track does have quite a bit of “chugging” to it in the guitar department but there are also some memorable riffs, given to us by guitarists Miles Croney and Lance Nerio that shine through it.
Perhaps one of my favorite tracks on the EP is “Reverie” which features Garret Parsa (A Sudden Revive) on clean vocals. While “Silence” is more of an “all-killer, no filler” type of track, “Reverie” has a lot of atmosphere to it, leaving some room to breathe. Parsa’s clean vocals are a bit raspy, adding character and edge to his parts. You can definitely feel a lot of Blessthefall, Those Who Fear and Sylosis influence in this track. As the title of the EP suggests, each track takes us through a different setting in the Dreamwalker’s world. This particular track is about feeling like that there is more to this life than he’s been shown, feeling like this world isn’t where he was meant to be. The most memorable part of this track, to me, is towards the end when Deeter screams “How can I believe what I cannot see? I’m lost inside hell that surrounds me! These unfamiliar places I used to know… this world is not my home!” which gives me chills every time I hear it.
The opening track of the album, “Martyrs” is definitely my favorite, in terms of the instrumentals. Particularly, the opening riff that will get stuck in your head upon hearing it. This track tackles the subject of being a martyr. Someone who spreads a message of faith, love and hope and dies for their cause in the end. It also plays on the subject of getting rid of the toxicity in your life, no matter how hard it may be. The life of a martyr is not an easy one. This track has sat with me as one of the best I’ve heard in the genre in a long time. Lyrically, vocally, instrumentally and in terms of the overall delivery of it.
Overall, if you enjoy heavy music with a lot of atmosphere, a great message and replay value… this is the EP for you. Being the band’s sophomore effort, it definitely shows some growth from their previous work. The band is currently looking for a permanent clean singer for the band, so perhaps we’ll get a more melodic approach to the next work of art they release? Only time will tell! What I can tell you, though, is that you’d be crazy not to pick up a copy of Dreamwalker, which is out now on iTunes or physically through the band (message the individual members or their page)! Check out the video for “Silence” below!
“Silence” (Official Music Video)
Miles Croney – Guitar
Mason Croney – Drums
Lance Nerio – Guitar
Chanc Deeter- Vocals
Dylan Woods – Bass