Shreddy California dark synthwave duo Dance with the Dead are bonafide veterans now. Loved to Death is their eighth studio album since the band burst upon the nascent dark synthwave scene in 2013. Their combination of vintage analog synth tones, hooky metal riffs, shreddy guitars and over-the-top nostalgic nerdery have endured them to synthwave fans across the globe, and their live shows have become bonafide events.
Dance with the Dead’s latest, Loved to Death, keeps true with the band’s M.O. by striking just the right balance of synth pop and balls to the wall metal. Tracks like “Into the Shadows” (with an assist from San Diego venue Brick by Brick owner Nick Hipa, who also toured with the band handling sound and visuals) go hard in the paint with chugged riffs from start to finish and blazing leads sprinkled throughout, while “Portraits” slows things down a touch into dreamy ballad territory (by dark synthwave standards, anyway), using an undulating bass synth backbone to keep things moving along. “Salem” manages to do both at once, with synths both driving the melody and creating the atmosphere but with distorted guitars ever-present for a little extra oomph throughout. “War” is just flat out nasty electronica, deep and dark, like something that would fit right into a GosT set. In other words: it’s a Dance with the Dead album! It’s everything you and I both love about dark synthwave, and it’s fucking great. - MetalSucks