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2 stars I very much enjoy dredg so the two stars I give it were not given without a certain amount of trepidation. Perhaps I need to give the album a bit more time? I did with el cielo, but it's one of my favorite albums, always in rotation. Six or seven listens later I'm still caught, with the embarrassment I get by being caught listening to a 311 album. What I hear is formulaic music by competent musicians, musicians that used to catch my attention and make me want to listen (the 311 analogy will pick up in a moment, not here so much). What I hear is crappy lyrics (if you tell me otherwise then I'll assume you sit in a Starbucks and listen to an open mic there) layered over an attempt to spread a listening base that is accustomed to, well 311, Godsmack, Disturbed, Blink 182, or whatever superfluous fluff they have glued to their ear. This album seems like a desperate album, and not in a good way. There is no passion here. Passion exhaled from el Cielo. It wilts here.

It makes me angry writing about it, this band is great, let's not mistake that fact, this album however is not.

Tight band(dredg 2009) x tight production = not a great album+(sadness on my part)

Report this review (#221614)
Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Dredg ? 'The Pariah, the Parrot, the delusion' 4.5 stars

?.So close.

This is by far dredg's most diverse and complex album to date. A wonderful culmination of everything they have done and a logical step in their career path. There are the radio-potential tracks, segues to piece the concept together, some deep philosophical songs and some songs that even touched up on the avant-garde genre.

The beginning is just simply haunting on 'The Pariah' with girls humming with finger snapping and then just a really hard rock/heavy metal breakout to get things underway. Then on the next track 'Drunk Slide' you get exactly what the title says?a really strange piece with some ear piercing synth sounds that would just not be expected to come from a band like this. Then we have 'Ireland' which is a killer hit, really hitting home on some dynamics with some loud build- ups into an explosive chorus. Other songs that are easily accessible are 'Information', 'Saviour', 'I Don't Know' and the wonderful orchestral 'Mourning this Morning'.

Then the album has some really downright depressing songs. Hell, the whole album is one big suicide mission, but songs that really make you feel uneasy go to 'Ligthswitch', 'Gathering Pebbles' and 'Cartoon Showroom'.

This is definitely the best album dredg could come out within this point in time. I don't find any flaws here, but nothing that will just blow me away and make me want to sit in the corner like 'El Cielo'. This album took me a lot of time to get into, but it is clearly a diverse effort, but still manages to work as one cohesive piece unlike the album before this, 'Catch Without Arms'.

Report this review (#221861)
Posted Friday, June 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Just like any other long-awaited album DREDG's "The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion" recieves various opinions, from "wtf is this?" to "their best one". In my opinion, this is DREDG's most balanced work.

Starting from almost nu-metalish stuff, DREDG released their groundbreaking "El Cielo" in 2002. It was good, but too uneven. The next one, "Catch Without Arms", was guilted of being too poppy. 4 years of wait, and now we have a balance point between "El Cielo" and "Catch Without Arms" - an album which is easy-to-get-into, with tracks like "Information" or "Mourning This Morning" on the one hand and some pretty experimental stuff like "Long Days and Vague Clues" on the other. Being still a mainsream record, "The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion" serves as a good example of balance between art and pop for any Modern Prog band which longs to be popular. While album's imaginery side B is a bit weaker than side A, it's still worthy of its 60 minutes, there's not much filler, every song has something to add, but seriously, it's sometimes too eclectic and I rarely listen to it from beginning to end. Nevertheless - highly recommended, give it a listen!

Report this review (#230799)
Posted Monday, August 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I always felt "okay" about Leitmotif, really enjoyed El Cielo, but after Catch Without Arms, I questioned my liking of Dredg. They were just one of those bands where you think, "Jeez, if they put one more step forward, they'd be one of my favorites." However, after hearing this 2009 debut, that day finally came. This is easily Dredg's finest work so far. It's diverse, their melodies and progressions are completely solid, and each song manages to stand out on it's own while also contributing to the 'whole' of the album. The album was inspired by an article titled "Letter to the 6 Billionth Person" by Salman Rushdie. I encourage anyone to read it, and then look back to the lyrics to bring the idea together. It's definitely a concept album involving psychological and sociological struggles.

This album has a fine collection of songs, each one appreciable as the last. The variations in instrumentation, both playing and tones, are very impressive, because it doesn't seem over-done. Everything just falls into place. Whether it be the piano stylings of the opening track, Pariah, the classic-rock power track, Ireland, or the uplifting and vocally-driven, Quotes, this album is sure to be stuck in your head long after your listen. I'm sure many debate the prog elements of this album, but the song structures aren't your typical "prog" jams with extremely technical constructions; this is something more subtle. A lot of the chord progressions are moving and/or just groovy. In the end, that's what music is best for. Whether or not one likes the actual music, it'd be difficult for someone to say that they didn't put a lot of work into writing this. The songs just have so much more "umph" to them than all their other albums. This was the piece of work I've been waiting for from them.

This album is exactly what it means to be; it doesn't strenuously strive for anything it can't achieve. Everything is smoothly written, with no strenuous passages or progressions, and you can feel it's completion once you're done. I had my favorite tracks from this album, but I soon found that all the rest warmed up to me very, very quickly. This is definitely a fine example of more modern progressive music, and is definitely up there on my top albums of the year. It's a well-crafted album and I encourage the opportunity to take a curious listen.

Report this review (#240692)
Posted Monday, September 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#240757)
Posted Monday, September 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Pariah Parrot Delusion is the strongest Dredg I've heard. Still, too much of it is plain sentimental pop, unfit to deserve anything above 3 stars.

The band is obviously talented. Most of the music consists of tastily wrought layered rock songs with plenty of variation in playing and instrumentation. Especially the short instrumental interludes are lots of fun. When everything falls into place (as on Pariah for example) Gavin Hayes' voice is an excellent asset in their overall sound. But more often then not he does not do his band mates justice. Songs like Gathering Pebbles and Information have strong melodies but are wrecked by their bland siropy pop choruses. Also Saviour, Cartoon Showroom and Quotes rarely surpass the second-rate U2 level that the singer reduces them to.

Dredg has a very skilled vocalist but maybe they should make him play the flute or let him dance or something. Anything that silences him a bit more will make this band really rise above the murk.

Report this review (#241884)
Posted Monday, September 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another mellow prog-pop album with emo vocals? OK, they have melodies, they play enough good, but this post brit-pop influenced vocals killing me. Possibly, for complex pop- music they are playing, it is not so bad. So, let say, it is more my problem - I don't like sensitive pop music too much.

To be honest, vocalist is not bad at all, just he sounds as he came from very different genre - he could be a popular pop-singer, I believe. And instrumental pieces sound much better on this album.

Again, it is more question of taste, I believe. If you like pop-rock with professional arrangements, some electronics, heavily influenced by Radiohead, Starsailor, etc, with sweet vocals, some emotional drama and not too much rock in this mix, possibly you will enjoy this music. For me, it is just another average quality pop-oriented product.

Around 2,5.

Report this review (#265152)
Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Maybe nothing to do with the review but it's a question that always get in my way talking about Dredg, why does anybody refers to them as "art-rock", I mean, music is art, rock is music, so they make "art-art". I found that definition pretentious and self indulgent, but, at the end, Dredg really do great music, enjoyable, catchy, intricate and with a lot of soul and sense within, so, nevermind labels or references, this is really a group of inspired guys sharing music with sense, and that's always good.

This is their most recent material and I shouldn't start from here, but it's good to share my impressions now that everything sounds so fresh to me and that I'm in a very Alternative Rock vibe. Well, the first thing that jumps into my eyes is that their quality of sound is really one of the best I've heard in the last 5 years or so. The drums are very clean and strong, the guitars as well, which is maybe the most difficult thing to achieve nowadays. The riffs and the phrases are catchy, rockin' and enjoyable and everything is summoned around strong and touching melodies, not necessarily soft vocals but very touching and shares a lot emotion. This is what I search in music (or maybe in this kind of music) and I found this particular album to be great, maybe a little brief in the instrumental parts, but at the end, the music works for the album and the concept and they do reach the goal to make you (or me) feel the emotion and get into a very enjoyable state of mind (or soul, you pick). All the songs are short, so don't worry if you see that there are 18 tracks, all flows very well in between. Highlights: LIGHT SWITCH, IRELAND, INFORMATION and SAVIOUR.

This is a vocal oriented album, so don't expect too much instrumental parts, but great moody melodies. I feel that this guy really sings with soul, very easy to relate to and maybe that's the strongest aspect about the album, somehow the listener can feel himself closer to the artist and the music.

Now, I have a little problem, maybe it's a conceptual album but this is really not prog rock, or at least not in my standards of prog. Every alternative band should play like this, and that would be a perfect world, but how much about it that has to do with prog? I'm not sure, I can tell you, this can be one of my favorites Alt Rock albums but in prog, really, I don't see the connection.

So, I get back to the start, leave out the levels and enjoy. I'm sure I will be enjoying it, prog or not, but for matters of this particular review, I should rate it in a strong 3 stars album, maybe better in time, but I don't see how this could be an excellent addition to your PROG collection. A great album indeed and maybe 5 stars in the rest of the world, but for prog standards, 3 stars is fair enough.

Report this review (#280751)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars From the very first time I listened to this album I was thinking the word ''wise''.It takes a lot of wisdom,talent and hard work to create an album so rich,emotional and easy to get at the same time.''The Pariah,the parrot,the delusion'' is the perfect combination of Dredg's previous efforts,fortunately avoiding the cheesy paths of ''Catch without arms''.Surely,there is a mainstream element in their music but fear not the word pop.I wish all pop music had the amazing choruses and the melodic depths of this band.I don't know if it is progressive or not, artistic is the perfect word,even in the most commercial parts you always have the sense that something ''clever'' is going on.The orchestrations are great and the production is excellent, when a cd consisted of 18 songs never tires you means that everything is being taken care of in every detail.Everything is here, from children choirs (Pariah), Muse-like anthems (I don't know),prog instrumentals (Drunk slide), to classical arrangements (Long days...) and intense ballads.Last but not least, I wanted to say that lyrically Dredg is one of the best bands of the last decade, adding a poetic dimension to their music and enabling the listener to sing and FEEL the songs,something that is very rare nowadays...
Report this review (#283603)
Posted Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The main thing about Dredg is their unique sound, which has influenced many bands inside and outside USA. The mix of alternative rock with prog and even emo or metal made them famous to a wider audience after the release of "Catch Without Arms". The pleasant surprise in "The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion" is that it 's more experimental compared to their former release. Nevertheless, the prog elements are evident to some songs and are absent in others. Many tracks are simple rock songs, which may appeal to many prog fans, or not at all. I find the album interesting, but I have to admit I sense something here is missing and this doesn't necessarilly have to do with prog, but with the lack of direction. On the other hands Dredg really know how to write great songs. "Ireland", "Lightswitch" and "Saviour" are standout tracks. My personal favourite is "Gathering Pebbles".
Report this review (#299469)
Posted Friday, September 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars After the dissapointig "Catch Without Arms" (even when there are a few good tracks in it) I didn't expect very much about Dredg perhaps "El Cielo" is into my fav discography of the last years.

But "The Pariah..." returns to the way left by the 2nd Dredg album with some "Catch..." influences, but unquestionable better than this one. Far from the inspiration, heavy sound, brilliant lyrics and awsome atmospheres created in "El Cielo", "The Pariah..." sounds very great since the opener "Pariah", a heavy dark piece, one of the most powerful first album songs that I've heard lately. From now on, the tracks are part "El Cielo" reminiscences: dark atmospheres, noisy sections, nostalgic passages, some heavy prog moments and even little drops of avant garde. And there are parts of "Catch..." too: almost pop songs with catchy rhythms and mellow chorus... a kind of strange mixture between brit pop and alternative rock.

Not for everey prog fan but a really interesting record which has some thrilling moments in songs like "Ireland" (looks like an outtake from "El Cielo"), "Pariah", "Light Switch", "Quotes" y "Down To The Cellar", a wonderful instrumental track, maybe the best song of the album.

3.5* because perhaps is not a remarkable album, has some personal interest that makes me LOVE most of the songs...

Report this review (#301777)
Posted Sunday, October 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars First off, let me say that I'm not sure if Dredg is a prog band or not, but I am sure that I love their music. I have previously given them a 5 star rating for EL CIELO. I will eventually review their other works and I am eager to hear their new release. "The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion" continues in the same mood and style as their previous work. At times it is loud, moody, soft, danable, poppy, and of course proggy. I have heard some folks dislike the singer, but I have to disagree. Gavin Hayes has a nice voice for the type of music he is singing. Best songs-"Pariah", "Ireland", "Lightswitch", "Gathering Pebbles". The only thing on here that I can criticize is that it seems to fade at the end of the album in terms of the best music. 4 stars. Not as good as EL CIELO.
Report this review (#435331)
Posted Monday, April 18, 2011 | Review Permalink

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