DEATH OF A DREAM
DEATH OF A DREAM is an American metal band formed in Austin, Texas in 2015. The same year the five-man powerhouse debuted at the Live Music Capital of the World’s own DIMEFEST honoring guitar influence, “Dimebag Darrell Abbott.” A fitting origin for a band whose groove metal identity is driven by the group’s signature heavy weight dual guitar and low-end rhythm sound.
“DOAD” is comprised by Shaun Twyman, Trey Ybarbo, Shawn Young, Matt Storey, and Byron Gilmore.
Influenced as well by PANTERA, as a whole, LED ZEPPELIN, METALLICA, and MEGADETH, and birthed from the disintegration of no less than four regionally acclaimed bands that gave rise to Austin’s Heavy Metal scene throughout the 2000’s, DEATH OF A DREAM’s individual members bring a diverse stylistic range to the whole of their sonic sensibilities. That, coupled with a long-standing brotherhood, has translated to a musical chemistry that allows DOAD to easily cross sub-genre boundaries between thrash, metalcore, deathcore, and even death metal; leading to ongoing invitations to lend Texas support for the likes of renowned metal contemporaries such as SEVENDUST, TRIVIUM, JINGER, DEVILDRIVER, THY ART IS MURDER, PISSING RAZORS, and DECAPITATED to name just a few.
The band’s admitted “fully definitive” 2021 EP, SENTENCED TO SUFFERING, produced by Jason Frankhouser, was recorded at his Killer Tone Studio. Gilmore’s drums were tracked at The Machine Shop, home to producer, “Machine,” who has worked with LAMB OF GOD, CLUTCH, and CROBOT. The world-wide pandemic that forced the touring world to collapse in 2020 subsequently created the band’s dream opportunity to work with Frankhouser, a revered guitar wunderkind in his own right, who serves as FOH sound engineer for notable acts such as BOB DYLAN, BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG, and JAWBREAKER. Young’s guitar solos were recorded in his own home studio and consequently delivered to Frankhouser for mix inclusion. The record stands as the follow up to DOAD’s debut 2016 release, BIRTH OF A NIGHTMARE, and could be considered a thorough examination of moving through life’s most bitter challenges. A raw space vocalist, Twyman, has experienced first-hand after surviving a series of personal tragedies in recent years.
The first single from SENTENCED TO SUFFERING, “Moving Targets” was transfigured for video by BAD MANTRA director, Brandon Brumley, and set to release alongside SENTENCED TO SUFFERING at DOAD’s first post-pandemic performance at Come & Take It Live. The EP’s ‘multi rooted tree of life floating within the micro and macro of existence’ cover illustration was developed by guitarist, Ybarbo.
Weary of “the climb towards success” that was the focus of all previous bands DOAD’s members were part of, the desire to play music for nothing more than the sake of their own enjoyment was brewing quietly in each musician. Gilmore and Ybarbo initiated the first rhythm jam with Ybarbo on bass. When that session revealed Ybarbo as a seasoned guitar player, too, it prompted Gilmore to bring his former bandmate, Young, in… curious to see what stretching the new connection felt like. The flow of their songwriting registered hot enough that vocal melodies were soon needed and, Twyman, who’d established himself in other projects as an outwardly formidable front man, was the only logical choice in the way his presence and vocal dynamics would match the intensity of the sounds the others were channeling. The first-choice bass player they wanted, Storey, but assumed no chance of acquiring due to the extensive world travel demands of his work, rounded out DOAD’s emerging line up when he heard the material and offered to make the band a top priority.
An undeniable electricity that surges through the players in every hard driven performance has inspired ATX metal purveyors to ultimately refer to DEATH OF A DREAM as one of its “supergroups.”
That egoless alchemy, perhaps the band’s greatest treasure and whose core is friendship and dedication that DOAD be fun, first and foremost, in the creation process, has also, ironically, opened doors they never intended to walk through. In letting go of emotional attachment to the outcome of the “success” journey, the band has found a solid identity, rooted in the dichotomy of its members own evolution as thoughtful men who express themselves through the near militant assault on the senses their music bitch-slaps listeners with… When it answers the questions of exactly how to rage, non-politically, against the world in the face of the fatalistic threats it levies and sometimes carries out against us in the connected human experience.
This is a group of artists that can offer a hard-won laugh in the face of trials and show us how to do the same…
Kind of like when Black Sabbath, another beacon, offered a glimpse through song that explored the unfiltered horror a world recovering from war could look to as antithesis to the fluff that no longer resonated.
DOAD isn’t a band for the faint of heart. This is music for those inclined to stand strong after falling hard. Undeterred and undefeated.
DEATH OF A DREAM does life and music in their own unpretentious way. They don’t give a fuck if you like the brutal honesty they offer. But, if it helps someone along the way, then that lends itself to more genuine purpose they can get behind.