Dreadnought - Lifewoven review
|Release date:||May 2013|
Let's say you want to make a sandwich. You've firmly decided on white bread as your dough of choice, but being the s̶n̶o̶b̶b̶y̶ ̶a̶s̶s̶h̶o̶l̶e̶ sophisticated intellectual that you are you don't want to settle for a mere ham and cheese, that's just far too bland for your likings. So you go to the supermarket and stock up on $30 worth of ingredients to make this a sandwich more catered to your IQ points (and credit score). What results is a monumental supreme taste voyage of meat and vegetables whose numbers go beyond the limits of the human language…. or, in other words, an edible equivalent of Lifewoven, the highly impressive 2013 debut from American band Dreadnought.
The core sound of the innovative foursome that is Dreadnought lies in the progressive metal area, but not in the sense of Dream Theater-esque prog, or some type of djent-y Meshuggah ripoff with a bunch of overdone syncopation. Lifewoven is, more than anything, an homage to the classic prog acts of the 70s, especially Yes and King Crimson. Much like their progressive forefathers, Dreadnought weave a delicate compositional technique that has enough twists and turns to keep things creative and intriguing, but that isn't too overtly technical to digest. Whether it's the beautiful vocal melodies on "Nascence" and "Renaissance," the unorthodox instrumentation (including sax, mandolin, trumpet, and flute) on tracks like "Immolate" and "Utopia" or even the fat, audible bass tone throughout, with Lifewoven Dreadnought make it quite clear that they know how to craft music that is vastly multi-layered, but doesn't feel bloated.
In addition to the progressive core of the band's sound, Dreadnought also make use of a few simple, yet effective black metal elements, which at some points enhance the music, like in the middle of "Nascence," and at other points come to dominate it, like on "Deluge." While these extra flavors may not be abundant enough to regard Lifewoven as a full fledged progressive black metal album, Dreadnought manage to weave them in at just the right points in the composition, so that they give the songwriting that extra push it needs to create a more multi-faceted experience for the listener. With as wide an array of instrumentation and compositional techniques as Dreadnought make use of, one would think it would almost be counterproductive for the band to not bring them all out equally as crisply, and Lifewoven indeed does makes use of a very "round," all-inclusive production sound that helps to bring everything out and leaves no part of the music overshadowed.
Hearing Lifewoven reminds me a lot of the first time I listened to Negură Bunget, because it's very much the same type of listening experience. That is, there's a lot going on with the instrumentation, with a ton of non-metal instruments that help to create a mesmerizing, almost transcendental mood. To some listeners this may come across as unnecessary and pretentious, but fans of more progressive or otherwise off-the-wall forms of music will enjoy it for what it is: a highly intelligent album from a group of musicians trying to give us something that we haven't heard before. Lifewoven is easily one of the most well-composed albums I've heard all year, and for a debut it' sets some pretty high standards for Dreadnought to follow up on. If you enjoy strange metal that challenges convention and makes you reevaluate the way the genre can be delivered, then you know what to do. Hop to it, bitch!
||Written on 25.09.2013 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.|
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