dredg
Leitmotif


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (86 Reviews)
April 29th, 2014 | 21 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Raw beginnings.

In the vast world of alternative progressive music Dredg proves to be one of the bands that really stand out. Their signature sound, musicianship and fantastic use of experimental concepts cements them as a powerhouse band of the genre. El Cielo was an undeniable masterpiece because its flawless flow, atmospheric sound and beautiful lyrics were all staggeringly mature for a sophomore LP. Unfortunately the eventual demise of Dredg came with their latest album, but they still managed to release some impressive work in between Catch Without Arms and Pariah. However, the band’s debut LP was extremely different compared to their later works and the listener gets to experience a different side of them. They certainly perfect their sound with El Cielo, but make no mistake that Leitmotif had a unique sound of its own.

Instead of possessing an extremely polished sound, Leitmotif introduces an aggressively raw progressive rock sound that is uncharacteristic of Dredg. Plus the listener will surely experience a different angsty side of Gavin Hayes that is never seen again. Though Gavin’s aggressive side is not entirely perfect he certainly gets the job done quite well with some powerful performances and even some great screams thrown into the mix. The album starts off with “Symbol Song” and Gavin’s powerful performance along with some fantastic guitar riffs are sure to impress. Dino’s signature snare drum sound is also very evident and he really gets a chance to show what he’s made of throughout Leitmotif. The only disappointing part about the band as a whole on this record is that the bass isn’t always heard in the mix of the album and this is something the band surely changes in their later works. Despite the seemingly absent bass in some parts the band delivers some well-rounded performances on Leitmotif and there are even some Tool influences to top it all off. “Penguins in the Desert” exhibits this influence perfectly with its engrossing guitar driven vibe. “Lechium” also happens to deliver a chilled out atmospheric riff reminiscent of “Black Magic Woman” by Santana oddly enough. Make no mistake that the interludes presented on Leitmotif also act as a focal point.

All of the interludes on Leitmotif are appropriately titled “Movement” and not a single one of them disappoint. Each actual song flows perfectly into each movement like an ideal concept album. “Movement I” is certainly the heaviest of the interludes with some awesome drumming and compelling guitar work, but the real star of them all is “Movement III” without a doubt. Its beautiful instrumentals and seamless flow into “Penguins in the Desert” is truly stunning. Dino also gets a chance to strut his stuff in “Movement II” with his impressive snare drum shining through as expected. Bands often have a tendency to either use interludes a bit too much or just add them for the sake of extending the length of their album, but this is never the case with Dredg. Every interlude they add is always extremely well done and they most importantly always have a purpose.

Dredg barreled into the progressive rock scene with a reckless abandon and it’s raw sound certainly singled them out. Gavin’s performance as an aggressive singer is not perfect and there are some useless parts of the album like two minutes of noise at the end of “Traversing” and the mostly silent length of “Movement V.” However, Leitmotif displayed endless amounts of potential for a band that will release a masterpiece four years later. It’s surely disappointing what the band has turned into and they have a lot of work to do in order to gain back the trust of Sputnikmusic. Despite this aspect of Dredg, we always have their amazing previous works like Leitmotif and El Cielo to return to.



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user ratings (615)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Greg Wood (4.5)
dredg drop the angst and create an exceptional debut album....

Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (4.5)
...

DeathOnBroadway (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
scissorlocked
April 29th 2014


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

after years of dredgian enthusiasm, I think this is their most energetic record and probably their most heartfelt

nice review dude

Digging: Traumprinz - All The Things

WatchItExplode
April 29th 2014


3272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

definately contains glimpses of all the things that make them great

Digging: Giant Squid - Minoans

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014


10808 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Their most energetic yea but their most heartfelt, that's El Cielo for me. And thanks man.

Artuma
April 29th 2014


14365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet rev

penguins in the desert m/'s hard

Digging: Fleurety - Min Tid Skal Komme

scissorlocked
April 29th 2014


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ I get what you're saying there Mongi. El Cielo is a probably hyper-coherent record with tons of sentimental brushstrokes that probably hooked most of the fans. I just find Leitmotif's aggressiveness, raw sound and lyrics to be a more straighforward expression of dredg's ethereal atmosphere that was present and culminated in the later albums.

Ecnalzen
April 29th 2014


6688 Comments


Its a mongi review, so I obvs have to comment on it.

And its a dredg review?? Bonus!

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014


10808 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol sup ec!

Ecnalzen
April 29th 2014


6688 Comments


Hey, guy!

Will read this when I'm off work. I still would like to hear this. I am interested in Dredgs heavier side.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014


10808 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool man it's worth it. Catch without arms is also a tad heavier than el cielo too.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014


21453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet album and review

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

Ecnalzen
April 29th 2014


6688 Comments


I am pretty familiar with Catch and Cielo. I haven't heard anything else, tho.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014


10808 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This and Pariah are very worth it. But Chuckles, good lord almighty no.

Rowan5215
April 29th 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"El Cielo was an undeniable masterpiece with its flawless flow, atmospheric sound and beautiful lyrics was all staggeringly mature for a sophomore LP."
This doesn't make sense, change it to "El Cielo was an undeniable masterpiece; its flawless flow... were all staggeringly mature" maybe?
Otherwise sweet review mongiman

Digging: Vestascension - Breaching the Sound

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014


10808 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh wow, thanks for pointing that one out!

Rowan5215
April 29th 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Continuous bump for this review
Such a good album Symbol Song is top 10 dredg. Although another thing is you used the word "angsty" a couple too many times

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2014


10808 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Changed that too and yea great song. Penguins is def the best on here for me, it riffs hard.

Rowan5215
April 30th 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah Penguins is m/
SO YOU SAY
SO YOU SAID IT RIIIIIGHT

ashcrash9
April 30th 2014


391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, Mongi. I'd suggest restructuring the first sentence of the third paragraph. Something like "All of the interludes on Leitmotif are appropriately titled “Movement” and not a single one of them disappoint." Just reads better like that for me at least.

This, El Cielo, and Pariah are all interchangeably my favorite dredg.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 30th 2014


10808 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks changed that a bit. I'm pretty average at proofreading my own writing I guess xD

El Cielo will always be my favorite. Like damn, what an evolution.

dannyboy89
April 30th 2014


12027 Comments


Awesome review Mongi.



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