Blooming into something strong and dynamic, combining elements of shoegaze, rock, metal, electronic, and more, Holy Fawn are back with their sophomore full-length album Dimensional Bleed. Getting into their stride, this release brings something a little new and a little more experimental while still showcasing the sounds and vibe fans fell for in the band’s debut. Dimensional Bleed offers electronic and ambient passages that feel cosmic and otherworldly, while at the same time grounding listeners with lyrical themes around death, nature, and the cosmos. The dynamic between the music and the lyrics make for an immersive and enlightening experience making this album something special and Holy Fawn a creative force to indulge in.
The album opens with a beautiful ambient/mostly instrumental track with a sprinkle of clean vocals and ethereal post-rock melodies. Playing with the idea of time and multi-dimensions, the same lyrics are repeated in the closing track bringing the album full circle. While prior releases delved into darker sounds, this album showcases a lighter musical side of Holy Fawn while still offering heavier moments and harsh vocals to match. Track “Death is a Relief,” which was the first single released from the album, gives a perfect snapshot as to what Dimensional Bleed has to offer. The song slowly builds, opening with a sunny melody and light vocalization. Eventually, heavier guitars and crashing drums ensue. As the story unfolds and the lyrics dramatize, so do the vocals and more layers and textures are added before the track lightens back up and eventually only an acoustic guitar is heard, and slowly fades out.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Ryan Osterman explains that “with every release, I feel like we’ve continued to learn how to best support each other both mentally and musically, which enables us to try new things. Personally, I think this record has truly allowed us to explore more creative avenues than we have in previous releases.” Dimensional Bleed is an elevated release from the band. It does feel like a more creative endeavor and I am happy to see the band come into its own and take their music to a new level. Each musician in the band shines brightly and their talents are clearly heard.
I know I have said this in several other reviews this year, but this release will certainly make an appearance on my (hefty) end of year list. This album is stunning and something I can have on repeat and never grow tired of. There are many layers to each track and I find something new to appreciate with each listen. While thematically this album is rather heavy, the music is light and airy. It is something I can easily get lost in with its mesmerizing melodies and versatile vocals. If you are an established fan of Holy Fawn or looking for something new and different to enjoy, I absolutely recommend this album. Throw on some headphones to fully immerse yourself and drift away with the cosmic sounds in Dimensional Bleed.