Reverist – Dreaming Onward


Reverist – Dreaming Onward 


Orlando based quartet Reverist’s debut EP Dreaming Onward is a five song collection that invites comparisons to bands like The 1975, Keane, and Passion Pit, but Reverist are really in their own world less than ten original songs into their career. Their musical vision relies largely on an enormous sounding wall of electronica further propelled by straight up, uber direct rock drumming. Front man and songwriter Omar Qazi has found three likeminded collaborators for his first serious foray into the music world and Reverist make an impact from the first notes onward. The final ingredient deepening the impact and making it possible is colorful and powerfully raw production that stays close to the listener from the beginning.  

“Superhero” kicks things off with memorable intensity. Reverist envelops their songs in a swift moving cloud of electronica and keyboards. The dominant sound here is synthesizer based, but their approach to the instrument differs immensely from most. It’s never sterile – instead, it swirls and move like the music is living thing, some sort of emission from their collective soul. Perhaps it reads unusually to attempt waxing so poetic about this type of music, but Reverist’s songs pulse and throb with deep feeling. The same qualities distinguish “Machinery”, but as the title implies, Reverist applies a much more regimented approach to the sound and songwriting. Qazi’s vocals cut against that regimentation in dramatic ways. Dramatic is probably the best adjective to describe the aural assault of “About the Past”. Reverist views the past as something to be learned from and then summarily discarded or, at least, not allowed to hang over someone’s psyche like an invisible albatross. This assertiveness comes through splendidly in the relentless charge of the drums. 

“They Are Weak, Bur We Are Strong” shows off more of the band’s command of rock dynamics. Drummer Steve Addington’s impressively focused sense of time and hard-hitting style helps the band pull this off effortlessly, but their decision to use keyboards and synthesizers in warm, melodic ways differing from the rest of the genre. Reverist ends their debut with the release’s title song. “Dreaming Onward” is probably the EP’s strongest number melodically, but the quartet generates an impressive amount of musical drama within a small space. Once again, like the previous track, this dramatic power comes from the band’s deft use of dynamics to manipulate listener’s emotions. The climatic moments in this song are the EP’s best. 

Bands like this don’t come along too often. Reverist brings an unique mix of individuality and recognizable elements to bear and fills their songwriting with these qualities. Qazi is a fantastic singer and front man – he has a fine voice with tasteful pop appeal and a swagger that helps convey the band’s message in a very entertaining fashion. Dreaming Onward begins great and ends even better.  

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9 out of 10 stars. 

David Shouse