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Dredg - El Cielo CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.06 | 277 ratings

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5 stars The appeal of Dredg is simple: their music is progressive, strange, multi-instrumental, original, unique, and most of all, powerful. To give you an idea of the talent among these individuals, Dredg incorporates the use of many instruments into their primarily guitar-driven rock sound. All sounds on this record are real, no samples.

El Cielo is a concept album based on Sleep Paralysis. To make a long story short, sleep paralysis is a disorder in which sufferers will find themselves unable to move either before or right after sleep. During this time of paralysis, a person may experience hallucinations and other imaginary scenarios, as well as an overwhelming sense of terror and feeling that death is upon them. In the songs on this CD, Dredg explores this disorder and different aspects of it. Interestingly enough, singer Drew Hayes crafts his lyrics through these letters, while the music paints a perfect picture that reflects the somber melancholy mood.

The album opens with "Brushstrokes: Debtfoabaaposba" which stands for Dream Caused By The Flight Of A Bee Around A Pomegranate One Second Before Awakening, a painting by Salvador Dali. Now comes the first real song "Same Ol' Road", which is a pretty good indicator of the rest of the album. It is melancholy and dreamy, with one of the greatest vocal parts ever. The singing is melodic and beautiful, full of emotion. The arrangements are masterful, which I guarantee will hook you. The next song "Sanzen" opens with a guitar riff and a good vocal melody. Contrast is an important part of this album, and Dredg uses this element perfectly to their advantage. Beautiful. "Brushstroke: New Heart Shadow"is a quiet, ethereal, clean song with a jazzy beat and an atmospheric guitar riff, which goes straight into Triangle, almost continuing the song but in a new movement. The tracks flow very well together. "Triangle" has a quiet high guitar line and very ethereal feel as well. "Triangle" features a great vocal melody before going into a more upbeat section of the song. Very atmospheric throughout, with a whispered vocal line mirroring the main vocals. Then a quite, Eastern-like section ends the song, going straight into one of the heaviest riffs of the album on "Sorry But Its Over". The verses are quiet and sparse, the choruses heavy. Another perfect example of contrast. Track seven "Convalescent" is a very upbeat, groovy tune, showing the quality of Dredg's rhythm section. "Brushstroke: Walk in the Park" leaves me speechless. It is an extremely beautiful duet between a melancholy piano and ethereal background strings. This goes straight into "Eighteen People Living In Harmony" which begins with Gavin singing through a trumpet to give his vocals a muffled and distant effect. "Scissor Lock" is my favorite pieces on this record. Nothing here but stunning and shimmering clean guitar lines, that float around underneath a beautiful vocal melody from Gavin. The lyrics in this song are the most obvious reference to sleep paralysis. The sleepy ambiance is continued with "Brushstroke: (Reprise)" which is a slow dreamy rendition of "Same Ol' Road". On track twelve "Of the Room" we have much needed energy during the building intro. The verse has a sliding guitar riff with odd intervals, that locks in perfectly with a contrasting bass line. The verse builds into a colossal chorus with a huge atmospheric sound. Absolutely amazing emotion in this song." Elephant in the Delta Waves" is an eastern piece that does very well in capturing a visual medium that goes with the sound. It is a very interesting piece that feels like it gives closure to Of the Room. Track fourteen "It Only Took A Day" is a great catchy song. The vocals, guitar, and bass are in unison, which is surprisingly not repetitive or boring. "It Only Took A Day" stops suddenly and "Whoa Is Me" opens with a sparse trumpet note before Gavin's vocals. The arrangement of this song is somewhat awkward, but it works, especially after subsequent listens of the song. The last track "The Canyon Behind Her is a fairly long song. An atmospheric and ambient guitar, keyboard, and bass soundscape open the song. Gavin's vocals are hypnotic and sad, giving off a feeling of loneliness. A faint back up choir can be heard until it builds up to an absolutely huge and epic conclusion giving the record a great sense of closure.

An essential masterpiece of progressive rock music.

thesimilitudeofprog | 5/5 |


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