A bit of a post-metal odyssey, Night Terrain's self-released album American Dream combines post-metal with a bit of sludge, a bit of doom, a bunch of grunge and a lot of alternative rock. The saying goes "Sometimes the magic goes, sometimes it doesn't...", and in this case, I think the magic works.
The ten tracks on the album are instrumental, and with this piece of information in mind, you might expect the trio to take full advantage of the absence of a singer and go off on all sorts of show-offy leads and whatever other ego-inflating tools musicians have at hand. But, actually, they do not. Night Terrain's focus is on expression and atmosphere, and attention is paid to the integration of the instrumentation of each track on the album. Some passages are slow and considerable doomy, while others have more of a grungy feel to them, and others again are mellow and melodic, and some passages are more uptempo and hardrocking The tracks are not exactly technically advanced and build on repetition – although it cannot be denied that Night Terrain do know how, and when, to make their music dynamic – which has the effect that the listener can easily immerse and lose him- or herself in the music.
Interestingly, while there are guitar leads, the most dominant instrument mix- and mastering-wise is the bass. I do not know if this is intentional, but – having grown up with Iron Maiden, I always like it when the bass is audible. The production is a bit on the raw side and, some might say, amateurish. I do not mind this rawness, and I am sure that it is not the result of amateurism, but fully intended by the band. It works and gives the music an edge of garage rock DIY authenticity.
Definitely an interesting release, American Dream should appeal to both fans of post-metal and of alternative rock. There is a lot of potential in this band, and I, for one, look forward to further output from Night Terrain.
2. Beyond Walls
3. Wayside and Hallowed
6. American Dream
7. Wild Again
10. Distant Echoes