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Dredg - El Cielo CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.07 | 268 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars A sheep in wolf's clothing...

Pretentious is a word which seems to have lost its true meaning in recent years. It gets bandied about and applied to situations of experimentalism, evolution and sometimes virtuosity, which, within the world of prog covers just about everything. However, its definition actually lies within the world of false claims and ostentatiousness. Just because something is that little bit different, or over the top, does not necessarily mean its pretentious. The key is the success or failure to produce something that actually has substance, and is not just smoke and mirrors. This is of course entirely subjective, but I will cite the guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen as an personal example of an extremely talented technician masquerading as an extremely talented musician.

On this particular album dredg pop up at the other end of the pretension scale. El Cielo tries to be deep and meaningful, subtle and even grandiose at times. In reality you just get an hour of dronotonous alternative rock with a few bells and whistles and the occasional ambient interlude. With song titles like Δ and Brushstroke: dcbtfobaaposba, and lines such as "It was inspired by the clarity of consciousness, rather than the vividness of dream, and was the self-proclaimed pinnacle of broken bridges and chest pressure", it would be hard to find anything more pretentious.

Whilst El Cielo is certainly more progressive than its successor Catch Without Arms, it somehow also manages to be less enjoyable, and less engaging. The painfully cruel Sorry But It's Over lures you into thinking that it might just be that, but alas there are another ten tracks yet to come. There are some redeeming features, but one song (Same ol' Road) and generally interesting lyrics aren't enough to recommend this to anyone but fans.

The Verdict: Catastrophically tepid.

Starhammer | 2/5 |


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