A Dream of the Devil consists of two full tracks and a brief keyboard/symphonic outro, so it’s very short, about 15 minutes in total.
Hailing from North Yorkshire in the UK, Ante-Inferno nail down the gloomy, rain-soaked aesthetic fairly well with shifting blast beats and slower double kick grooves, meandering tremolo picked riffs and somber chord voicings, and tortured, screamy vocals.
Production-wise, everything is audible and the mix is stable, if a touch high-endy. I always think how much better these songs and riffs would sound if the band played through good amps but then, that’s not really the point when it comes to black metal. I’m not sure if this is a live recording, as the first two tracks sound very similar to the live versions that appear on the band’s bandcamp page. It speaks even better of them if this is the case.
One strong quality of these songs is that I don’t find the material to be repetitive. They can drone a little from time to time but they know when to pick up the pace and when to slow it back down. Compositionally, this is really strong. With only two tracks, this EP is very brief and definitely leaves the listener wanting more.
I don’t know that this release has tremedous replay value for me personally. The music is really good, but I would love to hear these tracks (or new material) recorded with better quality, even if they were to record live. It could be so much more crushing if I didn’t feel like I were listening to it on tinny speakers. I think these songs would really shine a lot brighter and make me want to mash that play button more if the production did the music proper justice.
7 out of 10 Avocados. Would recommend for fans of the genre.