dredg
Leitmotif


4.0
excellent

Review

by DeathOnBroadway USER (12 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 72 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist


Band: Dredg
Album: Leitmotif
Released: 1999

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

Review:

Symbol Song - This song starts out quiet and low, but kicks in with some heavy bass, possibly with distortion (I think), raw guitars and pounding drums. Gavin doesn't start singing halfway through the song, but when he does, his half screaming, raw vocals fit the song perfectly. People who have listened to El Cielo before this cd will have to get used to the more hardcore sound of his vocals. One of my personal favorites. 10/10

Movement I: @45N, 180W - This song is only a minute long instrumental, that is basicly the same riffs as the first song. When you're listening to the cd, if you aren't paying attention, you can completely miss when the tracks change; it's just a little higher, just as raw. Still a great song. 8/10

Lechium - This song is quite long, clocking at 6:24. It takes a while to get into, the progression may make your mind wander a bit at the beginning, but when it really kicks in, it will have your attention completely. Just as the first track, he doesn't start singing until part way through the song, when it kicks in. After a little while of the hard pounding music, it gets a little softer and he continues to sing. The lyrics (just as track 1) are mind-blowing. He also screams a little toward the end. This song is only 9 out of 10 because of the that fact that your mind will wander a bit. 9/10

Movement II: Crosswind Minuet - Another short instrumental, only 30 seconds longer than the previous. It's mainly drums to start and remains the main focus throughout. Halfway through the guitars come in with a low, slowly repeated chord, and then a second riff is played over that. I believe a piano is being played for the rest of the song as well. It sounds kind of fluttery, like butterflies. 8/10

Traversing Through The Artic Cold We Search For The Spirit Of Yuta - Once again, if you aren't really paying attention, you might not notice when it switches. It starts out with just a mellow-sounding guitar, which plays until a later part of the song. The bass can definately be heard here. It counters the more mellow sounding guitar with a rumbling bass riff that's repeated with the drums. After a while it fades down to the focus on the guitars (which I believe are acoustic, for at least a few parts of the song), which have a bit a of a solo; but nothing too elaborate. Everything comes back and fades again, then returns and stays that course and gets slightly heavier. It builds up and you can faintly hear Gavin singing in the background. Then it stops and has this period of radio-like feedback or static and then some electronic wiring sounds until it fades and some more static. This takes a few listens to begin to appreciate it. 7/10

-Intermission- (not actually a song)

Movement III: Lyndon - Another one that starts with some lightly played guitar chords, as the other instrumentals slowly come in, each in their own way. This song is shorter than the last two, about half the time. Also instrumental (there's some voices in the background, but nothing you can make out, just like the song before). After it builds up for a while, it gets quiet and remains that way until it starts to build into the next song. 7/10

Penguins In The Desert - You may recognize the song title as lyrics from one of the songs on their second cd; do not expect to hear them in this song. But they are written on the inside cover of the cd. It starts out with some palm muted guitar with distortion, and quickly builds up. If you missed Gavin's voice for the past few songs, you are in luck here. He does more than just sing, he brings his voice full throttle and screams for a bit, but it quiets down for a long while and he whispers. The instruments kick back but he just sings, then it repeats the screaming bit again. There's also some form of echo or delay effect on the guitar toward the end. This flows into the next song. I'd have to say that this is the most hardcore song on the album. 10/10

Movement IV: RR - The song carries over from the song before and we have another instrumental. I'd have to say that this one is the most interesting instrumental on the album. It has the cool effects on the guitar, fused together with the rhythmic bass and drums and just an overall great flow. If you thought you would get tired of the instrumentals, think again. And if you by any chance did, pay attention to this one. One of the greatest songs on the album. 10/10

Yatahaee - Starts out with a slow guitar, then a nice drum beat, then faster guitar, then stops when he starts to sing, then kicks back in. It continues on that way for a good part of the song. Then it becomes quiet and he's singing in the background with some vocalizations, then it kicks back in. I find the distorted chords at this point to be quite tasteful, and the palm muting that follows. It's hard to say how many times this song changes. After that part, it gets louder and he screams again for a few seconds. Then goes to a medium tempo, that ends with a final beat from the drums. 8/10

Movement V: 90 Hour Sleep - This song is correctly titled, being 20 minutes long. Yes, 20 minutes. Starts with a slow chord again, and after a while has a nice riff over it with the other instruments. That goes for a while and stops completely. Then it's one of those songs with the long blank area before a bonus track. I believe that the blank area is there on purpose to give you feel of a 90 hour sleep. So you wait...and wait...and then guess what, you wait some more. Unless, that is, you just skip through all of the blank area and get right to the last part of the song. But if you're just waiting, you could go to the bathroom, get something to eat and drink, consume it all and come back before it gets to the last part. But somewhere around the 10 minute mark there's an odd scratching noise, then the guitar has a little riff and then a drum solo. Bass comes in there somewhere too. After a while there will also be some more noises like in "Traversing..." There's some singing in the background, but all the instruments sound in the distance, or muffled, as well. He screams a little too. Maybe to have the effect of a dream. This continues, with random noises here and there, for a few minutes. Nothing extremely important to listen to, some of the noises get annoying as well. But you still have to listen to see what's next. The worst song on the cd, in my opinion. It's good to listen to it once through, though...just because. 5/10

Other things:

Although, this a truly great album, I believe that El Cielo is better, and you should get that one if you are not necessarily into this kind of music, and maybe pick this one up at a later time. If you already have the other cd and love it, definately get this one. If you are open-minded, you will enjoy the more raw sound of this earlier album and love it just as much. The only other bad thing about this cd is the fact that there is no lyrics in the booklet...but! It has a theme! This theme is: a man traveling to find spirtuality (in short). And the very plain looking appearance of the paper cd case just adds to the music. It doesn't need to be all flashy and attention getting. So overall, I'd say that their other cd is a must for anyone who enjoys rock music in general, but this is more within the genre. But it excels most of everything within it. So 4/5 for the cd.

We live like penguins in the desert
Why can't we live like tribes?




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Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Raw beginnings....

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dredg drop the angst and create an exceptional debut album....

Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
talk show host
April 24th 2004


18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it is a great cd. El Cielo was my favourite album for a long time, so when I picked this one up I was quite surprised by how raw it sounds in comparison and the almost complete lack of vocals in most of the songs.

It is a grower though and I can appreciate it almost as much as El Cielo, although I would also recommend getting that first.

8/10

P.S Great review :thumb:

3rdplanet
April 24th 2004


46 Comments


I have El Cielo right now, and I have to say Dredg are a terrific band, their music is Unique to me.

I will definetly get this album next.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
April 24th 2004


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is really amazing until you hear El Cielo or Soli i Sombra's Armadillo EP. They just blow this out of the water. 7/10

Girl 2
April 24th 2004


1 Comments


Uh.. not to be a dick but, you have your tracks mixed up. My computer reads them wrong too. This happens because the first track is represented by a symbol the computer cannot read hence its title by most as "Symbol Song." That's why everything kinda gets jumbled. (look on www.traversing.cjb.net) Otherwise, i think it is one of the best cd's i own, and was sort of let down by el cielo (still great, don't get me wrong, i like the energy in leitmotif). 9.5/10

DFelon204409
Emeritus
April 24th 2004


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought the symbol song was track 5 from El Cielo, which has the greek letter delta as it's title.

DeathOnBroadway
April 25th 2004


21 Comments


I looked at the site you put a link to, and I have changed the original post. It should be correct now. It took me a while to do, because I also to change it on my Musicmatch player. I wasn't quite sure to begin with when I was doing the review so I just did it that way. So "Intermission" isn't even a song. And that would aslo make sense to keep the song pattern. (Movement song, another song, Movement song, etc.) I hope that also fixes any confusion that anyone else had, or will have when they buy it. Thank you for your very insightful input.

denboy
April 25th 2004


85 Comments


5/5 This is a perfect album, I wish people wouldn't compare it to El Cielo, since I think that El Cielo is a completely different style.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
April 25th 2004


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[QUOTE=Knifeboy]5/5 This is a perfect album, I wish people wouldn't compare it to El Cielo, since I think that El Cielo is a completely different style.[/QUOTE]

I think most people's problem is that El Cielo is perfect and this is not. At least this seems to be public opinon. Also, word on the street is that the same people made both of the CDs so if you ask me comparison is inevitable.

Dredg
April 26th 2004


2 Comments


Yeah - the track listing is mixed up. It goes:

Movement I: @45N, 180W
Lechium
Movement II: Crosswind Minuet
Traversing Through The Artic Cold We Search For The Spirit Of Yuta
-Intermission-
Movement III: Lyndon
Penguins In The Desert
Movement IV: RR
Yatahaee
Movement V: 90 Hour Sleep

DeathOnBroadway
April 27th 2004


21 Comments


No, I fixed it. If you go to the site that girl2 posted, you will see. Most people, just as I wasn't sure about, don't realize that the symbol (which I believe is the Chinese letter for "change") above "Movement I" is actually a song. "Intermission" isn't anything. I guess you can take a break there or something. But I hope that helped.

denboy
April 29th 2004


85 Comments


[QUOTE=DFelon204409]I think most people's problem is that El Cielo is perfect and this is not. At least this seems to be public opinon. Also, word on the street is that the same people made both of the CDs so if you ask me comparison is inevitable.[/QUOTE]

Most of these people seem to give this 4/5 because of the fact that El Cielo is better. Yes.
I just wonder if people would still give this 4/5 if they hadn't heard El Cielo.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
April 29th 2004


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[QUOTE=Knifeboy]Most of these people seem to give this 4/5 because of the fact that El Cielo is better. Yes.
I just wonder if people would still give this 4/5 if they hadn't heard El Cielo.[/QUOTE]

I would too. There's are flaws here. Some of it sounds disgustingly nu-metal at some parts. To me it's just slightly flawed but still amazing.

3074326
April 30th 2004


20 Comments


Leitmotif will always be one of my favorite albums. The emotion, intensity, and effort that Dredg put into the music is very well heard in this album. The instruments are in-your-face, and that's what I love about this album.

This album is one of the few that receives a 10/10 for me.

El Cielo also gets a 10. Dredg is just an amazing band, and I rarely use the word amazing.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
May 1st 2004


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[QUOTE=3074326]Leitmotif will always be one of my favorite albums. The emotion, intensity, and effort that Dredg put into the music is very well heard in this album. The instruments are in-your-face, and that's what I love about this album.

This album is one of the few that receives a 10/10 for me.

El Cielo also gets a 10. Dredg is just an amazing band, and I rarely use the word amazing.[/QUOTE]

Good point. There is much more raw urgency here, especially in the playing of the instruments. To me El Cielo is so magnificent and...trascendent (for lack of better word) considering genre, style, and approach that is goes beyond just urgency or stregnth. The emotions and ideas that El Cielo presents seem more elaborate and sophisticated and even more difficult to grasp. Nobody will ever fully wrap their mind around that album, which is probably why I love it so much. It is endless.

denboy
July 24th 2004


85 Comments


I finally got myself to read the story in the booklet of this cd. And that just made the cd even more atmospheric and awesome!.. I recommend it

ninjamonkey
July 28th 2004


6 Comments


Leitmotif is possibley my favorite CD of all time. I like it more than El Cielo. It gets a 10/10 from me. and El Cielo gets an 8 or 9 out of 10.

What do people find flawed about Leitmotif or El Cielo? I think Leitmotif is perfect. This CD was like the music I heard in my head before this band even came around. This was like the album that I always had in my head (before I even listened to music much), and Dredg finally got it out of my head and into physical form. I feel like I'm a part of the CD.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

It's really hard or even impossible to express how i feel about this album. And it's even harder to do it on the itnernet.

denboy
November 6th 2004


85 Comments


Am I the only one who thinks some of the drum parts on this cd are so amazing that they could work as a song for themselves?.. I think they're the most catchiest drum parts I've ever heard

kerazzydave
March 8th 2005


2 Comments


I agree... I love the drums for Lechium for some reason. Greatest minute long song EVER.

And ninjamonkey - I know exactly what you mean! I would form a band which would sound very similar to Dredg if there were any more fans around where I live

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 12th 2005


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This clearly shows what I love about Dredg. I have a wide variety of musical taste (it's all rock, but all kinds of it too). So I can get my softer side with El Cielo and for a heavier side, head over to Leitmotif. It just amazes me how one band can release two completely different albums. And then Catch Without Arms, which is somewhere in the middle. And they are all amazing. Because this album just isn't perfect, I give it a 4.5/5.

halfdeadhippo
September 18th 2005


52 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

To clear the confusion about the tracklisting once and for all:

[quote=http://www.dredg.com/main/media.html]Movement I: @45N. 180W
Lechium
Movement II: Crosswind Minuet
Traversing Through the Arctic Cold, We Search for the Spirit of Yuta
Intermission
Movement III: Lyndon
Penguins in the Desert
Movement IV: RR
Yatahaee
Movement V: 90 Hour Sleep[/quote]

Copied directly from Dredg's official site.

That being said, this is my favorite Dredg release, because of the instrumental passages that remind me of post-rock like Explosions in the Sky. Nowadays, the focus on the vocals kind of brings the songs down to my ears. Personal preference, I guess.This Message Edited On 09.18.05



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