Dredg is one of the most underrated, artistic and intriguing bands of the last couple decades. They have been been one of the most consistent bands that chose art over the easy way out. During this time, Dredg have released 5 full length albums all of which stand on their own artistic integrity. There are 2 albums that I’d like to focus on. The bands second and third albums El Cielo and Catch Without Arms are not just artistically sound but also two albums that have helped to influence and inspire countless of other bands.
Let’s start with El Cielo first. Beyond anything, this album is a concept album based around a Salvador Dali painting called Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. In addition to that, sleep paralysis is another key component to the concept of not just the album but the painting as well. Each of the songs titles and themes are easily inspired and influenced by the work of art. Musically there is something to this album that doesn’t just have a natural ebb and flow but, it captures an imagination that had been missing in the album format for some time. The layers that were built upon the structures allow the listener to become fully engrossed in the imagery and melodies. El Cielo is definitely one of those albums that needs to be listened to in full to really grasp all it has to offer.
Catch Without Arms is a more straight forward rock album that allows for a simpler approach. On this album, there aren’t as many layers or abstract elements, instead it’s more of a guitar and rhythm driven album. The melody is still there and the artistic element is still very present. Catch Without Arms is still an “album” though, listening to individual songs don’t throw you off course. The production on this album, done by Terry Date (Pantera, Deftones, Soundgarden) adds a “heavier” element to the songs and arrangements.
Each of these albums stand out on their own. To me it’s just more a matter of preference as to which one you gravitate to first. If I had to choose which album I dig more, I’d have to go with El Cielo. There is just something so surreal about that album. The sheer imagery and depth Dredg were able to go into based on a painting and the music they created to shape the mood is truly remarkable. Not to take anything away from Catch Without Arms though, that is definitely a close second.
Which of these two is your favorite?
I’d also like to note that Dredg are in the midst of writing new music for an upcoming new album. One that is highly anticipated and wanted by many, including me!
Dredg- El Cielo:
Dredg- Catch Without Arms: