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Dreadnought - The Endless CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.14 | 27 ratings

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Prog Metal / JRFC / PSIKE Teams
5 stars Something that's always impressed me about Dreadnought is their ability to juggle several different styles without making the results sound disjointed or out of place. The Colorado-based quartet dabble in all manner of disparate influences, ranging from folk to post-rock to jazz to progressive metal, and yet the finished product comes off as the result of a cohesive vision and painstaking attention to detail. Thankfully the group's winning streak continues with their fifth effort, The Endless, a haunting journey full of mesmerizing locales and melancholic vibes. And right from opener 'Worlds Break', one thing is also certain: they are extremely adept at letting the music breathe and take a life of its own. The two ' yes, two ' lead vocalists, Kelly Schilling and Lauren Vieira (both of whom also serve as the guitarist and keyboardist, respectively), quietly introduce the track with clean vocals that are equal parts pensive and chilling; meanwhile, the soundscape is slowly being crafted in the background. There's a lot that you can focus on here: the beautiful vocal harmonies, the subtle ebb and flow of the percussion, the delicate piano melodies' and then the black metal finally hits you. The clean vocals are now replaced with piercing shrieks and turbulent rhythms, as the riffs become more dissonant and ugly; however, the switchup isn't jarring in the slightest. Why? Because every song on The Endless takes the time it needs to properly build up its motifs and atmospheres, ensuring that something like, say, a black metal section is just another piece of the puzzle ' rather than sounding as though you walked in on a completely different song.

As the journey continues, the well of stylistic experiments continues to deepen. 'Midnight Moon', for instance, paints an unsettling sonic portrait rife with off-kilter beats and dissonant guitar/keyboard textures; the track is a wonderful display of the band's post-rock side, as expansive musical terrain is covered to account for each emotional conflict. But those weird surrealistic moments' they certainly don't stop with this song. Perhaps the best example of their effectiveness lies in the beginning of 'Liminal Veil', which blends otherworldly clean guitar chords, propellant drumwork, and soaring clean vocals; the experience feels as though you've embarked on some mystical quest. As you dive further into the song, all of its ornaments get stripped away until all that's left are tribal drums and hypnotic choir effects, almost as if you're staring into an endless abyss. Speaking of the drumming, I'd like to give a huge shoutout to the rhythm section of drummer/percussionist Jordan Clancy and bassist Kevin Handlon; they are just as important as our twin leads in conjuring the record's most violent peaks and droning valleys. They seem to operate best with a 'less-is-more' approach, and nowhere is that more potent than on closer 'The Paradigm Mirror'. The song's climax is a stunning exhibit of rich textures and impassioned wailing, and all Clancy and Handlon opt to do is carry the most minimalist beat possible; they don't overstep any of the magic behind created above them, so as not to overcrowd such a grand display of catharsis.

And that's what makes The Endless so enchanting: the band members are perfectly in-sync, making it easy for them to play to each other's strengths. In both songwriting and instrumental work, Dreadnought can weave as many contrasts into their music as possible while maintaining laser-like focus; that is not an easy feat. The Endless may take several listens to fully digest, but I assure you that your patience will be well-rewarded with such a breathtaking musical journey.

Necrotica | 5/5 |


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