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Dredg - The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.59 | 107 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars After acquiring the brilliant El Cielo, I expected great things upon finding this 2009 release subsequently. Yet there's nothing noteworthy about this album in terms of it being progressive rock. Most of it is good pop music, something I can certainly appreciate, with pithy interludes bridging several of the songs. The trouble is when the band moves beyond pop music, the result is a muddle of disorderly passages and boring performances.

"Pariah" I must confess I wasn't expecting this introduction, which has children (and the lead vocalist) vocalizing over some drums and piano. Heavy instrumentation follows, and then distorted vocals takes over. It seems there's a coat of distortion on nearly all the instruments, including the bass. The chorus is excellent- just the sort of thing I hoped for from the band.

"Drunk Slide" This is an odd instrumental interlude, with weird synthesizer, varied drumming, and heavy guitar from time to time.

"Ireland" A powerful pop song with pleasing guitar in the beginning. The refrain is one of the best ones on the album.

"Stamp of Origin: Pessimistic" This soft fifty-second interlude has gentle vocals and lullaby-like instrumentation (making it almost sinister).

"Lightswitch" Church organ and gritty guitar begin this one. It's a decent song, but somewhat forgettable.

"Gathering Pebbles" Clean guitar (sped up exponentially in the studio) serves as the background for this track. Ultimately, though, this piece could easily be a teenage pop hit, since it's very catchy and has a chorus I can just picture thousands of adolescent girls screaming over- not exactly "MMMBop," but not too far from it either.

"Information" This piece begins with beautiful clean guitar and piano. The simple eighth-note rhythm and the powerful melody during the verse sounds like something U2 might do. Once again, the chorus is something right out of a teenage girl's ringtone library. The narrative bridge is a nice touch, though, leading into tremolo guitar and more gorgeous clean guitar.

"Stamp of Origin: Ocean Meets Bay" The shortest track is a thirty-second, four line interval over soft instrumentation.

"Saviour" Heavy guitar and electronic vamping make up the bulk of this pop track. The chorus is one of the strongest moments of the album, although that isn't saying much, since it's little more than another catchy hook.

"R U O K ?" After some electronic and industrial-sounding noises, a calm pair of guitars floats in over simple easygoing drums.

"I Don't Know" By this point the album is being dragged by its own facelessness. This is a heavy rock song with a decent chorus, but nothing striking, especially musically.

"Mourning This Morning" Instead of merely bland pop, this time there's a slow disco feel and a somewhat R&B flavor to the music. The lyrics are on the cliché side. Almost a full minute of peculiar noises ends the track (including electronic bleeps and boops, clanging sounds, and a kid crying).

"Stamp of Origin: Take a Look Around" One minute of the album is yet another breathy lullaby-like piece similar to those that share in its title.

"Long Days and Vague Clues" Strings accompany the band in this torrential burst of creativity. The instrumentation superimposes dissonant static runs over melodious thundering.

"Cartoon Showroom" After the crashing that came before, the band returns to softer music. It is full of acoustic guitars, delicate backup vocals, and lush keyboard.

"Quotes" There is beauty to this disjointed mess, but it's hard to enjoy because of the lackadaisical arrangement and uninspiring musicianship (the lead guitar part during the instrumental section is purely anticlimactic- the piece was begging for something powerful, and the guitarist plays the same note over and over again). As if almost trying hard to maintain a progressive label despite a horde of pop songs, the band tacks on a noisy and unrelated piece of music onto the end of the track.

"Down to the Cellar" Very similar in feel to "Cartoon Showroom," this is an instrumental is quite creative in terms of arrangement, even if it never leaves the realm of simplicity.

"Stamp of Origin: Horizon" Speaking of simplicity, this final track has a straightforward piano (albeit swamped by effects) and soft vocals. Spoken word, as through a radio brings things to a conclusion.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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