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Dreadnaught - Musica En Flagrante CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.46 | 35 ratings

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5 stars Dreadnaught's last album to date is a different ball game from anything they released up till now. Musica En Flagrante assures Dreadnaught is one the best bands out there, but still as obscure as an early 70's self promoted Italian progressive band. I'll give them all the credit in the world for reaching so far out and still manage to present us with such a clever and sensitive instrumental work. Where several bands get hundreds of reviews the first week of releasing an album, this one is so forgotten it makes me very sad and frustrated. As a lot of bands follow formulas and releases kind of the same album over and over again, dreadnaught is focusing on how they are going to do it differently, which makes progressive rock definition complete, not only the music is progressive it's also new! something the band haven't yet experienced with, reminding me in spirit of King Crimson.

Their previous album The American Standard is certainly one of my favorite albums to date, and I was hoping they would release something as great, but nothing prepared me for this. As the previous album was rocky, eclectic fusing elements like funk, avant-garde and was quite hard to categorize, this album is fairly less rocky and goes towards more avant realms, accessible Rio maybe, but even harder to pin point. Knowing their discography I would never thought this was the same band, without recognizing their distinct sound. What makes this release sound so different is the inclusion of more evident keyboards than before, violin, sax, piano, harmonica and more. The band's sound is absolutely stunning, bass guitar and electric guitars sounds like no other, they have the crispest sound you could ever wish for, this is actually the band's signature sound and what makes them so fun to listen to, how do they manage to create it? Don't ask me. Guitarist Justin Walton comes with all kinds of schizoid runs and licks, showing you what would have happen if Steve Howe was born in Alabama. Bob Lord also unleashes a captivating sound and is definitely a gifted and an outstanding bassists, reminding me of Les Claypool on meds.

The music never goes in the same road nor travels popular paths, it's quite new and i can't honestly compare them to any band i know, while in the past Primus or Phish would come to mind, now only tiny traces are scattered around, sprouting out here and there. There are 19 tracks here, going through different styles and moods, while maintaining a perfect balance between everything, touching each style in his turn and in the right time. Like I said it's quite hard to define the music and everything I'll say won't even get you close to understand the complexity of the music but i'll try. I can say it falls between avant-garde (nothing freaky), jazz, rock, funk, electronic, chamber and experimental, but they are all too general definitions to really grasp what's going on inside this piece. Each track goes from several mood changes easily, or slides to another without noticing, I love the fact that one moment you are in a quirky rocky interlude and the next you are swept by orchestral breaks, or grooving to the coolest harmonica. While in the previous album I was struck by the phenomenal playing of the trio, now i'm amazed by their progressive writing, for they are not trying to shine at all, relying on their self playing prowess, they give a lot of credit to their hired musicians giving them a lot of space to express them selves. Compositions contains a lot of ideas and the playing is nothing less than top notch. Just check out 'Tiny Machines' which brings to mind The American Standard material, featuring their distinctive quirky playing and very imaginative writing, grabing you tight and not letting you off the train until it's safe. 'Northern Pike' follows this, but shoots you from a cannon to the other side of the scale, at first you don't know what to expect, but they hold you down with their subtle and exquisite playing and when that harmonica sweeps inside, you have to applaud them for they certainly knows the job. 'Big Cats' and'Threnody for the Victims of Brother Theodore' are two more highlights which I fail to describe cause there isn't anything quite like it, incorporating all the elements mentioned before and giving birth to something new. Fabulous really. 'The Sirens of Titan' is a short suite which demonstrates just how diverse and imaginative they can be, playing an avant-garde intro which breaks to a beautiful violin and goes back to the avant through the back door, throwing some beautiful saxophone to the mix and some more violin, you have to hear it to believe it. 'Royal Jelly' ends this ride with a great performance of what this trio knows best, another rockabilly or should I say progabilly excursion of freak out sounds, riffs and memorable playing.

Musica En Flagrante is a modern masterpiece of progressive rock, no doubt about it, and although I would prefer 70's progressive rock just about any day, this band is one of the few cases where I can question this statement. It just has it all from phenomenal playing, great sesibility, varied instrumentation, out of this world arrangements and just about 5 tons of creativity.

it's been too long since the band released anything, so I took the liberty of writing Bob an email, saying just how I enjoy their music and what the hell is taking them so long? he answered me saying thanks, and how hard it's been since he travels a lot and producing other music, but they do visit the studio, he also said and I quote "Know that you are interested will push us! Not enough positive feedback these days..." It's a real shame this kind of professional music does not get the right amount of attention, so if you do not own this, do yourself a big favour and buy a copy. 5+ stars!! a mark i give to very few releases. Thanks.

Sagichim | 5/5 |


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