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talk show host
01-05-2004, 12:50 PM
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00006IU65.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg


Dredg
El Cielo
Release Date: 2002

Gavin Hayes: Vocals/Guitar
Mark Engles: Guitar
Drew Roulette: Bass
Dino Campanella: Drums

Track Listing:

1. Brushstroke: Debtfoabaaposba 0:57
2. Same Ol’ Road 5:15
3. Sanzen 4:34
4. Brushstroke: New Heart Shadow 1:33
5. Triangle: 5:04
6. Sorry But It’s Over 4:09
7. Convalescent 3:32
8. Brushstroke: Walk In The Park 1:41
9. Eighteen People Living In Harmony 4:28
10. Scissor Lock 3:23
11. Brushstroke: (Reprise) 1:33
12. Of The Room 3:44
13. Brushstroke: An Elephant In The Delta Waves 1:47
14. It Only Took A Day 3:16
15. Whoa Is Me 5:36
16. The Canyon Behind Her 6:40


Possibly my favourite album of all time, Dredg’s second official studio release exceeded many people’s expectations. After the cult success of their debut, Leitmotif, many were surprised by the route the band had taken. Gone were the 5-minute instrumentals and rough, raw vocals that were all but hidden in a wall of guitars. With El Cielo, the vocals are at the forefront, with Hayes’ voice indicating a far more confident and melodic stance. Consisting of 11 ‘songs’ and 5 interludes, or ‘brushstrokes’, Dredg have created a masterpiece. Running on a concept of sleep paralysis (so I hear) the songs share a common theme and flow nicely and easily from one to another. Instrumentation is at its peak, in particular, Dino’s drumbeats on this album are hugely creative and thought out (something which appears to be lacking in many bands), and guitar and bass are put to effective use. Good use is made of effects and samples, particularly with the brushstroke interludes and a cool vocal sample at the end of Whoa Is Me.
Despite its somewhat subdued lyrics, the music itself is incredibly powerful and uplifting and the cd is worth the price for the last two tracks alone.


1. Brushstroke: Debtfoabaaposba 0:57 – The sound of a paintbrush on canvas with some weird effects and faint vocal wail in the background. Serves as a good intro to the album but not a song. 2/10

2. Same Ol’ Road – A simple bass line opens the track and continues throughout. For the verse, Gavin’s vocals are supported only by the bass and the guitar comes in for the pre-chorus and chorus where Gavin’s voice singing “we must push on” sails over the top. There’s a nice use of phasing on the drums with some female vocal harmonies in the background. 8/10

3. Sanzen – Starts with the fading in of guitars with a great chord progression. Vocals are on top form here. The vocals in the chorus resemble those in Same Ol’ Road, with a slight echo. Then comes the first of many time changes, which indicate a big climax, but then everything stops and the real climax comes shortly afterwards. An unpredictable but very impressive track. 8/10.

4. Brushstroke: New Heart Shadow – The first proper interlude. A nice instrumental with various guitar lines. Very peaceful. 6/10

5. Triangle – Starts with something that sounds like an organ, and drums fading in, followed by some high tremolo-picking guitar, reminiscent of Johnny Greenwood. Another unpredictable track, it suddenly changes to Gavin singing a falsetto melody. The song then changes dramatically, to what could be a different song altogether. The lyrics are a bit iffy in this section: “and babies are born, in the same building where people go to pass away.” Very profound. The song then changes direction again, with a tentative link to their previous outing, Leitmotif. Finally it veers back into the falsetto melody. 7/10.

6. Sorry But It’s Over – My least favourite track on the album. It’s a standard song, with a chord progression that reminds me of that P. Daddy track he did for Godzilla. Not a bad track by any means, it just pales in comparison to the rest of the album. 5/10

7. Convalescent – This song is very upbeat with a very jerky and pounding guitar progression. The chorus is where the song excels though and I love the lyrics. Enter the first appearance of the surf-guitar tone, a nice touch. 7/10

8. Brushstroke: Walk In The Park – The second interlude of the album is a beautiful piano piece. Accompanied by strings, this is definitely one of the high points of the album. At times, melancholic but always with a sense of peace. 9/10

9. Eighteen People Living In Harmony – Another of my favourites. Gavin’s voice is put through some kind of filter a la The Strokes. This disappears when the guitar comes in. The strings in the background of this strong carry it through. The glory point is the key change at around 1.50. A true musical orgasm moment, with multiple tracks of Gavin’s voice harmonising with each other. The build-up is phenomenal but then, again it dies out leaving only the bass and some lone effects in the background. 10/10

10. Scissor Lock – One of the quieter moments on the album. “I think I’m awake.” The lyrics and vocal melody are beautiful, with delayed guitar floating in the background. There are some vocal samples later in the song, helping give meaning to the song. This song has to be heard. 10/10

11. Brushstroke: (Reprise) – Starts with phasing drums panning from left to right, and then Gavin sings “Here we go, down that same ol’ road again.” (Hence the “reprise.”) The drums and Gavin’s voice are accompanied by an organ, which suddenly give away to solo acoustic guitar and slow guitar solo, similar in style to David Gilmour. 9.5/10

12. Of The Room – Another great chord progression opens this track. This is a popular favourite amongst fans. It’s clear to see why; the chorus and lyrics are amazing. It’s possible to see how some people make the comparison between the vocals of Gavin and Maynard James Keenan, particularly on this track, although I prefer Gavin’s. Hypnotising and majestic, a great song. 8.5/10.

13. Brushstroke: An Elephant In The Delta Waves – The final interlude shows Dredg’s eastern influence, with Spanish guitar carrying a tribal drum beat with female vocals over the top. Think an Indian, Great Gig in the Sky, with mariachi guitar. :-/ Great track. 8.5/10

14. It Only Took A Day – So we reach the final section of the album. This is however, one of the weakest tracks on the album. It’s possibly the heaviest point as well. The vocals are very epic, and the pre-chorus is good but it doesn’t have the same impact as the others, due mainly to its predictability. There is a very interesting vocal effect at 2.00 or so, and some impressive drumming, but it just doesn’t grab me. 6/10

15. Whoa Is Me – No matter how many times I hear these last two tracks, they never fail to blow me away. This starts with odd saxophone melodies and progresses into what is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. The drumming on this song is superb (perhaps not technically, but creativity wise). The chorus is very unexpected with a great chord progression, and the tension is incredible. You know it’s going to break into something great, and it does. It’s enough to make you cry when he sings, “when the water comes, I will overflow.” In the background, you can hear the saxophone become more prominent, and after the second chorus everything breaks away to reveal a very lounge style sax and piano solo, and then a vocal sample ends the song. 10+/10

16. The Canyon Behind Her – The best end to an album ever, in my opinion. Starts with a techno-esque (the best I can do) delayed guitar. A female vocal samples comes in, and then cue the most epic guitar sound I’ve ever heard. It’s a wall of guitars that despite being incredibly loud don’t overpower anything else. A nice bass rhythm accompanies the same delayed guitar riff. After the second chorus, the song breaks into a bizarre and seemingly random guitar riff, before returning to the start. Again, the drumming is great, with a steady beat suddenly breaking into a crazy little fill at various points. Then comes the climax with the last chorus breaking into the most uplifting (musically, not lyrically) piece of music I’ve heard, as he sings, “I cannot find the other half.” His voice is then accompanied by a choir who bring the song and album to a close. Overblown beyond belief, but really, who cares? 10+/10.



So there you have it. It’s criminal that they haven’t received the same recognition as the bands they’re most often compared to, i.e. Tool, Pink Floyd and Radiohead, because for me Dredg’s highpoints easily match the highpoints of said bands. I don’t actually see the similarities but I would recommend anyone to have a listen to this album, regardless of what style of music you listen to. Give Leitmotif a go while you’re at it even though it’s musically very different. Overall rating, 10/10.

Blue Collar Tweeker
01-05-2004, 02:38 PM
Its a great album, but I'm a little bias considering Ive been of fan of them since day one. These guys went to the same high school as me, so Ive seen them progress. They're definately underated, I hope they get more of a following although Ive heard they're huge in Germany. Anyways amazing album, I hope they keep going in the right direction.

Kaden
01-05-2004, 02:46 PM
Cool. I think I'll check this out, sounds like the kind of thing I could get into.

Helmet
01-07-2004, 09:44 PM
AMAZING album/review. . . I just recently got into dredg, but I love them . . .

lethal dose
01-24-2004, 10:33 AM
dredg are very talented and original........theyre interesting to listen to

papashaft
01-24-2004, 10:03 PM
Dredg is becoming one of my favorite bands...personally I think that Leitmotif is better, but that is only because I havent been able to listen to El Cielo enough times to understand it fully.

FillInTheBlankHere___
01-25-2004, 01:35 PM
6. Sorry But It’s Over – My least favourite track on the album. It’s a standard song, with a chord progression that reminds me of that P. Daddy track he did for Godzilla. Not a bad track by any means, it just pales in comparison to the rest of the album. 5/10


I'd just like to point out that this chord progression was taken from Led Zeppelin's song Kashmir, which is why the song is listed on the Godzilla OST as Come With Me - Puff Daddy with Jimmy Page.

Frodo
01-25-2004, 01:55 PM
Excellent review. A very fresh, original album.

DFelon204409
02-15-2004, 10:25 PM
It's funny because your rankings are the exact same I'd give to this album except you reasoning is completely different.

mynameisroger
02-16-2004, 12:27 AM
Running on a concept of sleep paralysis (so I hear) the songs share a common theme and flow nicely and easily from one to another.


The album was inspired by a Salvador Dali painting, called "dream caused by the flight of a bee around a pomegrante one second before awakening". If you notice, the letters anagram the letter's following brushstroke on the first track. As I understand it,the band wanted to make an album based on a work of art, and this was one that all four members enjoyed and felt connected to. Dali created this painting based around the Fruedian idea that dreams are caused by the sound or event that wakes us. Apparently when they got into working on the album off of the painting, other themes came to the surface, and sleep paralysis was one of them.

Great album, good review.

Bartender
02-16-2004, 03:51 AM
Great review, but I was actually really disappointed with Dredg. I heard of them through MX, and so many people thought so highly of them I thought they'd be worth checking out. The first song I downloaded I really liked...but then one day I had some time on my hands, so I spent a while downloading the whole album, and every song beyond that first was really disappointing. I just couldn't get into them at all. So I gave a couple of weeks listening to them to see if they grew on me, then deleted all but one of the mp3s :(

EDIT: p.s. If I had liked more than one song, I would have bought the album. I don't download and burn whole CDs, just use it to see if things are worth buying (the only exceptions are CDs which are out of print - I've just recently given up on ever being able to find and buy 5 OOP CDs, so I'm attempting to download them).

OrbDragon
02-16-2004, 08:34 AM
I think I'll have to check this one out. I've heard good things about this band...but I never bothered looking deeper into it.

3074326
02-16-2004, 02:20 PM
Bartender, what song did you like? I'm just curious.

I recommend Dredg to everyone who is interested in music. They're one of the most unique bands I've ever heard, and definitly one of my favorites. Great review.

cytoplasmicblob
02-22-2004, 06:58 PM
i just got this cd used, it was really great

OrbDragon
02-23-2004, 03:45 AM
I downloaded "Same Ol' Road" from their site, and it left me fairly unimpressed. It's a bit bland and straight forward. But then again, it's prolly a poor representation of their work.

cytoplasmicblob
02-27-2004, 03:33 PM
is there a reason that my cover for the album looks nothing like that one? min ei s black and has a piano on it. the booklet is just a bunch of notes about sleep paralysis

Bigbadbob
03-10-2004, 11:03 AM
I downloaded "Same Ol' Road" from their site, and it left me fairly unimpressed. It's a bit bland and straight forward. But then again, it's prolly a poor representation of their work.


I cant think of a song that Encapsulates DREDG's music better than "Same Ol Road".

Acoustickid87
07-02-2004, 07:04 PM
I just bought this CD from amazon.com and absolutely loved it, but mine has a different cover. Instead of the picture of the cloud and sky there is a brown cover with a bed and the title written. Is this the real cover and I am an idiot or is this some alternate cover?

DFelon204409
07-02-2004, 08:45 PM
I cant think of a song that Encapsulates DREDG's music better than "Same Ol Road".

I think that Same Ol' Road may represent Dredg's style well, but it is one of the weaker, more straight-forward ones they've written. I also urge whoever thought it was weak to really digest it all. I thought it was simple until I really sat down with it and took it all in.

hybridofsound
07-02-2004, 09:10 PM
Never heard of this group but saw DFelon make a mention of them in a thread before. Will check them out when I change computers.

OrbDragon
07-07-2004, 03:58 AM
I've downloaded a few more tracks...and so far I've only enjoyed "Whoa Is Me". I think they would be much better if they'd make the average modern rock-sounding parts a bit more abstract. I still don't like many of the parts where the melody is dominated by distorted guitars.

DFelon204409
07-07-2004, 04:37 AM
I've downloaded a few more tracks...and so far I've only enjoyed "Whoa Is Me". I think they would be much better if they'd make the average modern rock-sounding parts a bit more abstract. I still don't like many of the parts where the melody is dominated by distorted guitars.

Not everything has to be abstracted out the wazoo. Dredg melds good songwriting with some art-rockiness, which is why I love them. They take the best of both worlds.

el doctor
07-25-2004, 12:10 PM
I keep listening to this album but I really can't get into it as much as some other people. The band definitely has a great sound and El Cielo is a good album overall. His voice is great, but it gets a bit boring to me and it feels like it drags everything down. The instruments are absolutely great and much better and more creative than a lot of other bands, but something just doesn't feel right. It's awesome that they mix so many genres and styles, but IMO it works against them at times. Some of the songs feel incomplete as if they were striving for this really diverse sound but never got all the way there. El Cielo is great for an occassional listen, but I just don't love this as much as other people seem to. Maybe it was all the hype here that made me disappointed in the album.

Does Dredg just have that one other album or is there any more material?

Iai
07-25-2004, 02:40 PM
Campanella? Roulette? Those are made-up names, right? Either that or they were blatantly born to be rock stars.

Dancin' Man
07-25-2004, 04:29 PM
one thumb.....Two thumb... :amaze: Two thumbs up for this album!

OrbDragon
07-25-2004, 04:31 PM
Not everything has to be abstracted out the wazoo. Dredg melds good songwriting with some art-rockiness, which is why I love them. They take the best of both worlds.

I think they are a mite pretentious...although they are talented musicians...but their music sounds forced, almost unnatural. The vocals somehow annoy me a bit...I can't quite put my finger at it. It's almost as if he's trying too hard.

Maybe I'm just biased.

IsItLuck?
07-25-2004, 07:42 PM
If you add up all your ratings and divide it by 16 (track numbers) it comes out to 7.5, so either you overrated the album too much or you underrated the song.

3rdplanet
07-25-2004, 07:59 PM
This album took some time to grow on me, especially the vocals side, but right now it is ranked in my top 5 albums, excellent CD.

blandest
10-19-2004, 09:26 PM
Overall rating, 10/10.

Any less and I would have been disappointed. ;)

Although I would have given certain songs higher individual scores. But nonetheless; Fantastic album and an excellent review that does it justice. :thumb:

Omega Red
10-19-2004, 10:02 PM
i loved this album, and i also loved their previos album

italic zero
10-20-2004, 12:46 PM
I thought it was decent the first dozen times I listened to it. After that it was orgasmic. Use top quality listening equipment for this album, or it really just blows by you. Also, this is an album. I would never listen to the tracks alone.

talk show host
10-20-2004, 05:45 PM
If you add up all your ratings and divide it by 16 (track numbers) it comes out to 7.5, so either you overrated the album too much or you underrated the song.


meh..technicalities.

An album is a seperate entity to a song. Just because the songs aren't all 10/10 doesn't mean the album can't be. El Cielo works amazingly well when listened to as an album. It's not as good if the tracks are listened to randomly and individually.

Having said that, I would no longer rank this as my favourite album or give it 10/10. Probably 8 or 9.

3074326
10-20-2004, 06:29 PM
This album is all I've listened to for the last two months.

It's my favorite album by far, and Dredg has replaced Tool as my favorite band. :eek:

40 oz 2 freedom
10-20-2004, 06:51 PM
I love this album. When I saw them open for the Deftones they didn't play much from it, though. I was a tad dissapointed but they were still good.

DFelon204409
10-20-2004, 07:03 PM
This album is all I've listened to for the last two months.

It's my favorite album by far, and Dredg has replaced Tool as my favorite band. :eek:

I'm in high level math.

Pink Floyd + Tool + Better Juice= Dredg

3074326
10-20-2004, 07:07 PM
Yeah, the Pink Floyd influence is obvious in Dredg's music, especially on Leitmotif.

Good stuff.

Happymeal
10-20-2004, 07:29 PM
Why can't I find this album anywhere here?

I've been aching for more than a year to buy this:upset:

talk show host
10-21-2004, 05:44 AM
This album is all I've listened to for the last two months.

It's my favorite album by far, and Dredg has replaced Tool as my favorite band. :eek:

Any idea if they have another album in progress or anything?

Tapeworm
10-21-2004, 05:46 AM
This album is all I've listened to for the last two months.

It's my favorite album by far, and Dredg has replaced Tool as my favorite band. :eek:
I actually now like Dredg more than Tool, and Tool used to be my big ultimo favourite band.

I absolutely love this album.

Krash100
10-21-2004, 07:22 AM
One of my fav albums of recent years. I liked Lietmotif better though, one of the most original concept albums I've heard. What ever happened to these guys? Are they recording anything new?

DFelon204409
10-21-2004, 12:23 PM
They're writing new stuff right now I'm pretty sure.

Dancin' Man
10-21-2004, 06:21 PM
I'll buy it. Dredge is the only band in my top 3 with less than 4 albums. I generally have to hear a band progress to consider them worthy but Dredg did it with 2. Aweomse band, awesome CD.

If you're wondering the other two are Tool and Opeth. I'm into that original, no one else has it, demi prog sound.

denboy
10-22-2004, 06:16 AM
MY EL CIELO CD HAS BEEN GONE FOR 3 MONTHS AND IT'S DRIVING ME INSANE!!! AAAAHHH!!!!

Anyway, can't believe I haven't posted in this thread before

Definately a 10/10

Either this is my favorite album, or leitmotif, I'm not quite sure.

zac_2004
10-23-2004, 09:36 PM
i love dredg i been listening to them for about two years, harder than hell to get ahold of there albums though

Dancin' Man
10-23-2004, 09:41 PM
i love dredg i been listening to them for about two years, harder than hell to get ahold of there albums though

Where do you live? I found copies in Best Buy, Borders and Barnes and Noble. Then there's always Amazon.

sounds_of_sanguinity
10-24-2004, 12:39 AM
Bartender, what song did you like? I'm just curious.

I recommend Dredg to everyone who is interested in music. They're one of the most unique bands I've ever heard, and definitly one of my favorites. Great review.

Agreed.

Very excellent review! This is the first review I've read on here and actually completely agreed with. Keep up the good work. :)