Given that Dave Grohl already gave making a metal record a pretty decent crack back in 2004, the idea of Dream Widow might not come as such a huge surprise for those who’ve followed his career.
What might be more of a revelation is just how good this is. Grohl’s adaptability as a musician has never been in question, and his love of metal has long been apparent. Fans probably didn’t expect him to break out into full-on grind extremity from the first note, however, or even at all. Encino is such a shock to the system that the Slayeresque thrash of March of the Insane almost seems normal. Indeed, without the obvious hype, it would be difficult to tell Grohl is behind this at all. Only Angel With Severed Wings has any sense of Foo Fighters about it, and that’s a shade at best.
There’s a level of both diversity and skill across Dream Widow, along with a sense of fun and energy that Grohl brings to all of his best work. His reverence for metal shines as he veers from moments of black metal to thunderous doom, frenzied thrash and stomping groove as he sounds like a different person in every track – howling demon, brooding metal god, screaming banshee. It really is an amazing and impressive musical chameleon act, best exemplified by the epic closer, Lacrimus dei Ebrius that combines early Mastodon-y sludge with Metallica chug arena metal and all points in between as it rolls across almost ten minutes.
It’s clear that Dave Grohl has put everything into what other artists might just see as a throw-away, making a record far removed from anything he’s been associated with before, a true love letter to a musical style he clearly has a deep passion for. It’s just a terrible shame it will always be overshadowed by the death of his friend Taylor Hawkins on the very date this was released.
- March of the Insane
- The Sweet Abyss
- Angel With Severed Wings
- Come All Ye Unfaithful
- Lacrimus dei Ebrius