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Dreadnought - The Endless review




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Reviewer:
8.1

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7.82
Band: Dreadnought
Album: The Endless
Release date: August 2022


01. Worlds Break
02. Midnight Moon
03. The Endless
04. Liminal Veil
05. Gears Of Violent Endurance
06. The Paradigm Mirror


Dreadnought ran out of elements to theme their albums around, but unsurprisingly they remain capable of writing ingenious, enchanting music, a talent of theirs that may, in fact, be endless.

The Endless thematically represents a new beginning for Colorado’s Dreadnought, described in the Bandcamp blurb as a character arc exploring the human divide of light and suffering. While the theme brings a new dawn, the album represents the end of a journey for Dreadnought in a different manner, one that involves human divide; this record is the last to feature the band’s original line-up. The quartet has become a five-piece, with keyboardist/vocalist Lauren Vieira departing to undertake new endeavors; Vieira is replaced by Glass Human’s Emily Shreve, while former Green Druid drummer Ryan Sims has joined as the band’s second guitarist, in anticipation of the challenges of performing this record’s material in a live setting with only one guitar. Therefore, The Endless is arguably the most transitional record of Dreadnought’s journey thus far, yet the band remain unmistakable from a musical perspective on this album.

For the uninitiated, Dreadnought’s style can loosely be described as a kind of ethereal prog, where siren-esque singing, mellow keyboards, shimmering guitars and slick drumming form a lush sea of tranquillity that is routinely disturbed by blackened intensity, shrieking vocals howling over somewhat cacophonous arrangements. The vocals, performed for one last time by the tandem of Vieira and guitarist Kelly Schilling, involve both clean-sung duetting and overlap and contrasting harsher sounds. This last outing makes it clear that Shreve has big shoes to fill, as the synergistic relationship between the two vocalists is highlighted on tracks such as “Worlds Break” and “Liminal Veil”.

The balance has shifted a bit this time, though; while the extreme and softer sections felt somewhat equivalent in prominence on Emergence and A Wake In Sacred Waves, on The Endless, the gentler side of Dreadnought feels prioritized. There are moments of intensity to be encountered for sure, with “Worlds Break” twice building up to high-octane climaxes, while “Gears Of Violent Endurance” opting for violence early on. It remains just as dynamic a record as past endeavours, yet songs such as the title track and “The Paradigm Mirror” largely revel in the quiet and mysterious, treating its loud parts as brief blasts punctuating the surrounding stillness.

By now, the Dreadnought formula is pretty well established, and isn’t necessarily changing much on an album-by-album basis. To begin with, I found myself slightly underwhelmed with The Endless; the band’s style is something that I highly appreciate, but I’m not enamoured enough to want to gorge on it forever. However, I found this to be a record that really rewarded repeat listens; there’s a lack of immediacy, so it’s not one to grip you instantly and pin your attention down, but its insidious nature casts a spell with prolonged exposure. For me, one track that really benefited from this was “Midnight Moon”, whose In The Absence Of Truth-era Isis-style opening instrumentation initially impresses, but which really makes its mark with the increasing heaviness that builds as it progresses and explores lower registers. Another slowly revealed highlight is “Liminal Veil”, the album’s longest song, and one that has a persistent malevolent undercurrent that reminds me a bit of the Oranssi Pazuzu school of bands.

There remains a lack of ‘true love’ moments in their music that prevents me from becoming a full-fledged Dreadnought fan, but they operate in entirely their own sphere of music, and they continue to render that unique style in a way that compels, and increasingly so with continued exposure. The band’s next challenge will be to carry this impressive consistency into their new post-Vieira era.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 7





Written on 02.09.2022 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments

Comments: 5   Visited by: 128 users
03.09.2022 - 10:54
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I like way you wrote, words you choose.. Album artwork looks like a abm album, and it's so strong, I will listen this album at Monday
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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04.09.2022 - 04:04
Rage10000

Really well written article. Being unfamiliar with the band, I was blown away when the harsh vocals arrived on Worlds Break. Shocking! Yet excellent. I'll see this one through to the end.
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05.09.2022 - 16:16
Rating: 9
Crème fraiche

This review was very fun to read. Great job!! I got to see Dreadnought live in Pittsburgh a few weeks back opening for Ruby The Hatchet and Elder and I thought they killed it. The lead singer screams like a banshee! I was with my fiance front row and when the harsh vocals kicked in I could tell by her facial expression she was NOT expecting that haha. I think she was more partial to the Ruby The Hatchet experience, but Dreadnought left an impression for sure. Elder was amazing of course also!
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05.09.2022 - 17:20
Rating: 8
musclassia

Written by Crème fraiche on 05.09.2022 at 16:16

This review was very fun to read. Great job!! I got to see Dreadnought live in Pittsburgh a few weeks back opening for Ruby The Hatchet and Elder and I thought they killed it. The lead singer screams like a banshee! I was with my fiance front row and when the harsh vocals kicked in I could tell by her facial expression she was NOT expecting that haha. I think she was more partial to the Ruby The Hatchet experience, but Dreadnought left an impression for sure. Elder was amazing of course also!


Dreadnought and Elder on the same bill sounds like a great gig - I'm hoping I can see Elder live one day, and definitely wouldn't complain if Dreadnought were the support
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06.09.2022 - 16:42
Rating: 9
Crème fraiche

I waited forever to see Elder live it felt haha! The last time they came to Pittsburgh was 2015 I think and I was going through a nasty breakup at the time and missed the show. Was glad I finally got to catch em live this time around! I hope they come to your "neck of the woods" soon!
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