Thursday 9 July 2015

Dreadnought - 'Bridging Realms' (Album Review)

‘The cinematic scope of Dreadnought’s music sounds like it should take a small orchestra to perform it.’

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 11/08/2015
Label: Self Released

“Bridging Realms” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Ode To Ether
2). Odyssey
3). Minuet De Lune
4). Transpiration
5). Bridging Realms

Dreadnought is:

Kelly Schilling | Guitar, Flute, Clean and Harsh Vocals
Jordan Clancy | Drums, Alto/Tenor Saxophone
Kevin Handlon | Bass, Mandolin, Lyrics
Lauren Vieira | Keys, Clean Vocals.


It seems there’s something in the water in Denver bringing about some fine heavy music of late.  In recent months I’ve enjoyed awesome records by Wayfarer and In the Company of Serpents and now I can add Dreadnought’s “Bridging Realms” to that list.

Describing what Dreadnought do simply as heavy music is selling it short though. Over the course of the five lengthy compositions that make up the band’s second album they manage to weave together elements of folk, prog, post rock, metal and even a bit of funk to create a dense and rewarding musical voyage. There’s a baffling array of styles and moods on display here that somehow Dreadnought manage to harness into a cohesive whole, crafting a captivating and absorbing world of sound aided by a spacious production job.

The cinematic scope of Dreadnought’s music sounds like it should take a small orchestra to perform it. The fact that it’s produced by a mere four people flitting between various instruments with dual vocalists is pretty impressive. Opener “Ode to Ether” moves from droning sax and synths, through heavy sludgy riffs, taking in pastoral folky passages along the way. On top of this, vocals range from ethereal chants to guttural roars and everything in between. This sets the tone for the rest of the album with more metal influences creeping in track by track. “Odyssey” (truly worthy of the title) introduces ringing black metal guitars to the mix which are backed by frantic drumming bordering on blast beats by the climax of the title track.

Even though Dreadnought aren’t the first band to try and combine these genres, the way they do it is unique. It’s hard to make easy comparisons to other bands who sound similar, particularly any who manage to blend all of this together and make it sound epic without being overblown, moving effortlessly between disparate styles without ever sounding jarring. The prog and folk influence on the band could easily have led to them having a strong retro vibe but they’ve managed to avoid this and created something with a timeless feel.

“Bridging Realms” is a strong release by Dreadnought that exists in its own little universe. If you’re a fan of complex progressive music this will keep drawing you in for listen after listen.

 Words by: Charlie Butler

“Bridging Realms” is available here

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