In the annals of forgotten, unappreciated, worthy pioneers, Pittsburgh sludge lords Dream Death loom large. I took some heat after Sound of the Beast came out for naming their sole New Renaissance LP, Journey Into Mystery, one of the best metal records ever made. If I had a chance to revise that list today, Dream Death would not be the first band dropped from the list. They effectively fused doom and thrash as well as anyone but Celtic Frost, locking down bolt-solid heavy metal with hypnotic circular riffs.

This first demo sounds like a good rehearsal tape, and the fundamental chemistry of the band has already gelled. “Under a Blood Red Moon” is especially horrific.

DREAM DEATH * 6-song demo 1986 [53.3MB .rar]

Most of the band chilled out and remained together through the 1990s as Penance. Drummer Mike Smail was recruited for Cathedral. Theres’s a MySpace page, and also this New Renaissance Records page.


  1. Unfortunately, it still isn’t working for me. It looks like there’s a file called “00. 04-05.Wolves:” within the Under.mp3 file, so that’s probably what’s messing it up. You might need to re-rip it or something.

    Thanks for doing this blog by the way. Most of these demos have been pretty awesome.

  2. I used to have Journey into mystery on cassette back in the late 80’s. It was like early doom when only a handful of bands were doing that kind of stuff. Fairly basic, but excellant tones and a good control of the pace.


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