Dream Death


Combining elements of traditional heavy metal with doom, hardcore vocals, and occasional bursts of speed, Pittsburgh, PA’s Dream Death gained popularity among the metal underground in the 1980's. The band formed in 1985 with guitarist Brian Lawrence, drummer Mike Smail, and Ted Williams on bass. Lawrence also took on the role of vocalist, as the band recorded their self-titled demo and played their first shows. 

After a few months, the band decided on adding a second guitarist, Terry Weston (former Doom Watch bassist), and began writing the material for their second demo: "More Graveyard Delving". This demo, as well as a growing fan base from heavy live shows and word of mouth, got the attention of new metal label New Renaissance Records. The song Method To Madness appeared on the label's Speed Metal Hell vol.3 comp, and New Renaissance then gave the band a full deal, resulting in their 1987 debut, "Journey into Mystery". 

Shortly after the release of “Journey into Mystery,” Dream Death parted ways with bassist Ted Williams, replacing him with Richard Freund. With Rich on board, Dream Death recorded the 3-song "Ode To Sorrow" demo in 1988. This line-up would continue to play shows and write new songs before ultimately deciding on a name change, and slight style shift into the traditional doom metal band- Penance.

Brian Lawrence would leave Penance after their 1992 debut album "The Road Less Traveled", followed by Rich Freund, after a European tour with Sleep and Cathedral. Mike Smail and Terry Weston would record 4 more albums under the Penance banner, with shifting line-ups, through 2003.  

Dream Death reawakened in late 2011, with the Lawrence, Smail, Weston, and Freund line-up making their return to the stage on April 21st, 2012, at a sold-out 31st Street Pub in Pittsburgh. The band debuted a new song that night, and continued writing the songs that would makeup 2013's self-released "Somnium Excessum".

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