Lethe is an experimental collaboration between Tor-Helge Skei (Manes) and Anna Murphy (Eluveitie/solo), so it goes without saying there were a lot of expectations riding on this album due to the sheer talent that the duo have between them, but it delivers of course. When Dreams Become Nightmares is Lethe’s debut full-length album and it certainly sets the standard high for any future releases they may make.
It works best if you listen to the album as one single entity rather than listening to specific tracks because everything follows on so well from one another that it would be criminal to skip a track. There’s a bit of everything in there, from the softer elements of opener In Motion, to the heavier sections in songs such as the phenomenal Haunted and there’s even tracks that are largely electronic as evidenced in Transparent. It can be said that such a mixing of genres can make it difficult to fully connect with an album but in Lethe’s case it works really well because it’s like you never know what to expect next!
Indeed, the aforementioned Transparent is a track that does have that extra sparkle. Largely instrumental, it’s wildly catchy and my foot subconsciously began to tap along to the beat before I noticed it! The whispered section atop of guitars in the middle is a particularly strong point because it divides the track up perfectly – without it, the song could well have wound up being rather repetitive.
When Dreams Become Nightmares is a work of art. It gives so much within its ten tracks and it’s a wonderfully engaging listen. Definitely worth watching out for!