Dreamcatcher has made their mark in their industry for their unique horror concept, sound, and image that they have kept faithfully to since their debut in 2017. While visually pleasing choreographies and music videos are huge part of Dreamcatcher’s appeal, the music itself does not disappoint. Their releases manage to stay fresh, despite keeping to the same rock-inspired sound. In fact, their last release “The End of Nightmare” was featured more than once on our 2019 Mid-Year Review for best mini-albums.
The group has kept a consistent formula with all their mini-albums, something that is apparent even with their album covers. Every album starts with an intro, followed by the title track, a few solid B-sides and rounded up nicely with a ballad. The result is a predictable yet complete listening experience from start to end of each album, something that is no different in Raid of Dream.
“Intro” starts light and magical with the simple use of a piano, before delving into more familiar territory with the muted guitar and a synthetic string that evolves into the song’s climax with the dropping of instruments for a nearly trap-like beat drop. In true Dreamcatcher fashion, the song reaches its peak when the guitar returns and forms an addictive, irresistible mix of rock and pop at the end, teasing what is to come.
The song’s title track “Deja Vu” is surprisingly muted, especially considering what the girls have offered in the past. This is not to say that the song is by any means boring, and the silence at its verses ends up providing an alluring depth and sense of mystic to an otherwise conventional and repetitive chorus. In particular, Dami and Handong’s lower voices are allowed to shine in the song and are a gorgeous contrast to the emptier verses that are carried mainly by the piano’s emotional melody.
The album picks up its pace with the first B-side. With its energetic, futuristic opening, it immediately catches the attention of the listener. “The curse of the Spider” relies on a chorus hook and prominent guitar lines that feature heavily in older Dreamcatcher title tracks. Unfortunately, even as main vocalist Siyeon reliably powers through the punchy choruses, the song feels uninspired, somehow failing to stay in listeners’ ears the moment it is over.
“Silent Night” will initially remind fans of “Sleep-walking”, a fan favourite B-side from one of their older albums Prequel, since both tracks incorporate techno elements, intense synths, and an epic beat drop. While its predecessor was a musically experimental venture for the group, “Silent Night” is an upgraded version of the former with its polished transitions between each part of the song and a subdued beat drop for easier listening. The climax hits unexpectedly towards the end of the song, making it the most memorable of the lot.
Rounding up the album is the token ballad, in this case in the form of “Polaris”. A thoroughly pleasant track that shows the seldom-used tenderness of the girls’ voices, the track still ends up feeling obligatory, making it the weakest track of the album. While Dreamcatcher ballads have always been crowd-pleasers, “Polaris” will probably be lost and forgotten in their entire discography. As an album closer, it lacks a punch.
Raid of Dream delivers exactly what you would expect from a Dreamcatcher release. While not bringing anything surprising to the table, it is a formula that continues to work for the group. The disappointment that arises then mainly stems from how they’ve simply had more creative, fleshed-out releases in the past.
(Images via: Dreamcatcher Company)