I Forgot to Acknowledge Dreadnought and We’re Worse Off Because of It: A Review

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Do you ever forget things? I sure do. More than usual lately, which is not good for a brain that was wired in the early 90’s. Planned obsolescence is a bitch these days. Anyway, I have known that Dreadnought’s A Wake in Sacred Waves was a groundbreaking album for almost two months now, and here we are, two-ish weeks after the release, and I am finally getting around to telling you about it.

Black, doom, atmospheric, and prog metal all jammed into one thing could be a total fucking disaster. Dreadnought managed not only to not screw it up, but to actually make it phenomenal. This quartet from Colorado shows unreal mastery of both typical and unusual instruments, including sax, mandolin, and flute. Their third LP, Wake has a water theme that is translated perfectly by the mix of audial serenity and crushing pressure.

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With guitarist Kelly Schilling and keyboardist Lauren Vieira swapping vocal duties throughout the runtime, you get a desperate shriek and a lullaby timbre for a range that the instrumentation requires. The drums sound incredible; every quick tap of the foot compresses your eardrums and gives them some exercise. The constant change in pace provides ample opportunity for some highly impressive fills and flourishes. The keyboard flips between a slightly discordant grand piano and a wobbly-modulated synth, providing the landscape for both the surface and depths; two sides of the same coin. The guitar is the glue that ties all these weird choices together, rarely standing out by itself, but serving as the aether that allows everything to exist in the first place.

Given the ridiculous length of the four tracks, you’re bound to experience some fatigue when the scene is being set, especially for those of us that lean towards the heavy, but ultimately these sections make them stand out as a truly progressive band. There’s experimentation mixed with pummeling aggression, there’s emotional complexity tied into the shifts in intensity, there’s purpose in every line. Luckily, for us with short attention spans, there are pretty clear transitions where a song break could be. A sax in an empty warehouse, a flute over a limping rhythm, or angelic gobbledegook all cleanse the palate before your next taste of Dreadnought (aka, their core sound). Personally, a little less of the ethereal and a little more blasting would have made this a perfect album for me, but it comes pretty damn close anyway.

Speaking of forgetting, I also forgot to come up with a gimmick for this review to draw it out a bit, but I have fulfilled my self-imposed obligation to get the word out there. This band is great.

4 Out ov 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

Pick up this wonderful work over at Bandcamp, and check ’em on Facebook. Be sure to check out their tour dates on Bandcamp as well; they are working all over the west coast at the moment.

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  • God

    This album was fucking fantastic. Listened to it on repeat for a straight week when I first got my hands on it.

    Also thanks to everyone for their kind words and music suggestions yesterday. It really did help.

    • love you

    • CT-12

      Hope you’re feeling better, that’s a tough one.

  • Should have been a FIVE OUTTA FIVE nerd

    • slipjackthewanderer

      Word.

    • Joaquin Stick

      I wouldn’t disagree with a 5-er. It’s a good. Hit me in almost all the right places.

      Speaking of nerd shit, do you know Seven Kingdoms? Just kinda stumbled upon it and it’s quite nice.

      • Camden is my favorite person to shoot fireworks at

        • Joaquin Stick

          You both answered my question and confused the shit out of me in 9 words.

  • slipjackthewanderer

    About damn time…

    • Joaquin Stick

      Well what can I say, I wrote it. It’s over, I did it. I know most of you are saying, “hey any idiot can do that”. Well, it was tough for me SO BACK OFF!

      • slipjackthewanderer

        Glad to see you’re taking it well. Honestly, it’s a good review and this idiot couldn’t have done it since I obviously don’t internet good.

        • Joaquin Stick

          I was just re-purposing a silly Billy Madison quote because I had nothing else to say.

          Much Love,
          Stickman

          • slipjackthewanderer

            Christ, I am just not good at this.

  • Damnit, you’ve ruined my plans to forget to buy this.

    • GrumpDumpus

      SUMMON THE ALMIGHTY MAILMANBRO

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    FUCKING TOP 10 AOTY SIN DUDA MIS AMIGOS

  • Rolderathis

    Any album with songs of this GIRTH are bound to be GROWERS not showers. Thus, I will give this album a few more tries, although I wasn’t floored the first time through. Everything is well played and thoughtful, but it didn’t hold my attention…

    Nice review!

    • Joaquin Stick

      It took until like spin #3 for it to really show me what it was made of. If you enjoyed it at all, I’d say give it another go.