19 Sep 2022 - Simon
Doom, Death, Progressive, Post-Metal | Profound Lore Records | Release date: 26 Aug 2022
Genre alchemists Dreadnought return with a truly epic album that provides a great gateway into this exemplary band!
Let’s take a second to talk about progressive music and the fact that to me personally the genre label has become a bit of a misnomer. What do you think of when you hear the term progressive rock? If you are like me, you think of the bombastic bands of the 70’s like Yes and Genesis. The slight problem is that the original progressive rock bands were so great that they laid a template which has been, for better or worse, imitated throughout the years that followed. This to me is where the label falls down. The very ethos of progressive music should be that it pushes the envelope in some way, a progression if you will. There really are not many bands which can truly be labeled progressive (in the truest sense of the word, not the well-trodden genre tropes). Boss Keloid, Merzbow and Mr Bungle spring to mind (there are loads more, please don’t berate me for forgetting loads of bands, it was just an example!) but you get what I am trying to say.
Anyway, if you are still with me after my laboured intro, then I have another band which fits into the “truly progressive”-tag I spoke of. Denver, Colorado natives Dreadnought are a band which never stands still, they fold all manner of elements into their sound and create wonderous aural tapestries which you can wrap around yourself and get lost in. They are also criminally under-appreciated by the music world in general, so let’s rectify that in some small way shall we?
Their newest album is called The Endless and quite frankly, it’s wonderful, evocative, and downright spooky in places. The album is the very definition of a sonic journey, it’s like a forest nymph dancing around picking influences from the genre-trees with wanton abandon and total disregard for convention. Trying to classify their sound is futile and,, honestly, it does their music a disservice as it is so much more than being boxed into one genre, but as a simple guide, you can start off with Doom metal, Death metal, Black metal, Jazz, Orchestral and work your way out from there.
The list of pleasant surprises on this album are too numerous to mention here but a few which immediately jumpstart into one’s ears and mind are the piano on first song “Worlds Break” which is nothing short of stunning; or the dual vocals from Lauren Vieira and Kelly Schilling which complement each other brilliantly and form an organic frame from which the rest of the unbelievably beguiling music hangs from and the whiplash inducing musical changes on the title track “The Endless” which are spellbinding in their ability to throw you off balance in the most glorious way possible.
If you have never checked out Dreadnought as you thought they might be a bit too extreme, or impenetrable, then this album is a great gateway into their world, for it seems somehow smoother than their previous albums. Sure, the vocals can go from softly crooned sweetness to fiery howled banshee screams in a frighteningly quick span of time, but this just adds to the sheer happiness of listening to this ode to the joys of heavy music.
If you don’t like heavy music? Fine, there are enough gorgeous soundscapes and soft jazz sections to hang your hat onto, there are even some trip hop bits thrown in for good measure. All of this makes it sound like they just throw everything at a wall to see what sticks, but nothing could be farther from the truth, there is serious thought and care given to each instrument, note and moment of silence on this album and that shines through with a warmth which is intoxicating. I’ll just finish off by saying that you really should listen to this album, it really is a joy, and you’ll find yourself picking up on different things from it even after multiple listens through.