dredg
El Cielo


3.0
good

Review

by Sam Feldman's Rating USER (66 Reviews)
August 27th, 2010 | 83 replies | 4,075 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: dredg shoots for the stars and lands safely on the moon.

15 of 15 thought this review was well written

On paper, El Cielo looks like a magnum opus; an ambitious journey complete with "Brushstroke" interludes, an epic closer, and subject matter ranging from sleep paralysis to inspiration from abstract artists such as Salvador Dali. Where Leitmotif was the sound of dredg finding their musical niche in the world and Catch Without Arms was a band refining their original sound and adding a certain catchiness to it, El Cielo is meant to be the highlight in dredg's consistent career; a peak of artistic acheivement that should propel dredg into otherworldly status.

El Cielo is not that record. Sure, it's good, even excellent at times. But the problem is that the album is better as a collection of songs rather than a magnum opus coming full circle. It's a rather difficult mission to listen to El Cielo in its entirety; the wide array of "Brushstrokes" are there to fill gaps in between the dense, brooding, segment-after-segment tracks, but they do little to add anything to the album. They are there as interludes, and while each one is special and brings something new to the table each time, it makes the album feel disjointed and at times all over the place. There's no real sense of purpose to El Cielo; it's as if dredg went into it attempting to make their strongest songs possible and they arguably succeeded with gorgeous tracks like the surging yet calming "Sanzen" or the haunting melodies of "Sorry, But It's Over". But dredg seemed to forget about flow, about continuity; if you didn't know better, you might think that some of these songs are from different albums altogether.

That's not to say that this is some great music, however. Galvin Hayes is the focal point here with his airy, soaring voice covering almost every inch of songs not named "Brushstroke". Lyrically, Hayes is fantastic here and is possibly the highlight of the album; how he explains the ethereal subject matter of the album is wonderful with lines like "Into the bed, light around me / beautiful washes of pulsating color / buzzing white noise / it sounds like 100 bees / I, too, once thought the radio played" in "Scissor Lock" that shows some beauty in an otherwise disturbing experience in sleep paralysis. He does sometimes blanket the songs too much, however, and doesn't allow the beautiful instrumentation to bloom into something magnificent. There's no room on El Cielo; every song seems to have parts that are either repeated or forgotten about entirely and the songs flow with so much friction; there's no air to breathe here. Take "Triangle" for example; a well written song, sure, but it just uses parts over again that sound good yet with no space for innovation or virtuosity that seems like would fit so well into the tightness of the song.

Take El Cielo for what its worth at face value; it's not the ultimate opus victory that dredg seemingly set out to accomplish. It's a mere collection of great songs and beautiful instrumentation blanketed by a soaring voice and introspective lyrics, surrounded by arguably pointless interludes and an otherwise outstanding closing track in "The Canyon Behind Her". Prepare for a long journey through the confusing maze that is El Cielo as its twists and turns are difficult to navigate yet somewhat rewarding in the end. 3/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
porch
August 27th 2010



8390 Comments


I don't think this is particularly good either, but for different reasons than you

climactic
August 27th 2010



17270 Comments


Pos'd. Love the summary

THE0D0RAD0RN0
August 27th 2010



11 Comments


Dali was not an abstract artist. he was a surrealist, but his paintings clearly belong to the tradition of figurative representation, of dream-warped verisimilitude

THE0D0RAD0RN0
August 27th 2010



11 Comments


he was also a fascist

just saying

Ponton
Emeritus
August 27th 2010



5775 Comments


Good review, though some parts read a little awkward, mostly in the areas where you compared and contrasted the good and bad (paragraph 3), at least to me anyway. Pos

I agree with a lot of what you say

Digging: Mimicking Birds - Mimicking Birds

BigHans
August 27th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Has some great songs but is overratd as a whole. Catch Without Arms is better.

PayneTiger777
August 27th 2010



4368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hello, how's it going? Maybe you didn't like it as much because the entire album has a theme, which is sleep paralysis. In my opinion, the brushstrokes are there to carry on that theme and transition well into each song. I think it all works quite nicely as an album. Thank you for sharing your opinion on one of my favorite albums of all time.

PayneTiger777
August 27th 2010



4368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, me too. Let's just hope the defense stays healthy, or else we will be going down that same ol' road again.

BigHans
August 27th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cowboys rollllllllllllllllllllllllll

fromtheinside
August 27th 2010



16404 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'M ABOUT TO FUCKING RAGGGGGGGEEEEEEE

Digging: Lord Mantis - Death Mask

BigHans
August 27th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dallas has a brutal schedule this year. After playing a season on Madden, I am fucking fearful.

A few notables: At Green Bay, At Minnesota, New Orleans on Thanksgiving, At Indy.

Not to mention 4 against NYG and the FAGGOT eagles. And dates against Jacksonville, Tennessee, and the Texans, none of which are slouches.

PayneTiger777
August 27th 2010



4368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Majin Buu is angry.

Gyromania
August 27th 2010



14653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, man I just demoted this to a 4.5 too. Great review, chambered-- it was clear, concise, and insightful. pos.

This album will always be special to me because I heard it at a time of relevance and the theme of 'sleep paralysis' is
something that I find infinitely fascinating. The lyrics you posted from Scissor Lock are great, and that is the second best
song, next to the Canyon Behind Her. I just can't get enough of that one. Though half of me is gone, the lonesome part is
there. I cannot find the other half


Enotron
August 27th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

great review man

fromtheinside
August 27th 2010



16404 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

listening now and it's a 5. good review. i honestly think you need a few more points to attack such a revered album. i mean you give essentially one paragraph to call out the albums fault but in doing you also bandage them saying things are weak but they're still pretty good all in the same. i dunno it just feels like you wrote this because you don't want this to be a 5 more so then it actually being an overrated or just sub par album.

Enotron
August 27th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

guitarist kicks butt, but i don't like the vocals

fromtheinside
August 27th 2010



16404 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

still love you.

Apollo
August 27th 2010



10083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this album rules

review is awesome though I disagree with it

Phideaux
August 27th 2010



1653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"guitarist kicks butt, but i don't like the vocals"

Wtf. The singer for this band is amazing.



porch
August 27th 2010



8390 Comments


Amazing if you like cheesy, overwrought vocals and bad lyrics



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