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DREADNAUGHT

"Body Mind Skin Mind" (Blad.Blah.Blah Records)
"
Idiosyncrasy" (Traction Bleeder Records)


"Body Blood Skin Mind" (Blah.Blah.Blah Records)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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Australia's Dreadnaught debut appeared in late 1996 presenting a fresh blend of aggressive hard rock with dark melodic leanings. The music fits in a more contemporary vein, but uncomfortably so; the band's self-description is "innovative and original psycho-grindcore." Dreadnaught's debut bristles with a fierce defiance of true categorization, as the songs are complex and unpredictable without sacrificing any enjoyment.

The guitars play a prominent role in providing each song with its harmonic structure. The guitarists don't just play leads and fills to cram more sounds into every little space - the guitar is used as a primary device that comprises the melody of the song (listen to "Harlequin" for a good example of this). The wide-ranging vocals are delivered in a variety of manners yet always carry the fervent force of the songs. One detriment, however, is the overuse of double-time bass drums ("Twisted Prayer," "Remote Control," and "Mindbend") - it's a matter of personal taste, I guess, but I've usually found double-time bass drums to be more annoying than anything else.

The end-of-world sounds of "Dripping" details a man's on-going struggle with self-loathing. "Distant" combines sustained guitar chords over a chime-like keyboard part. Even "Flowers," a slower tune with touches of a power ballad in its structure, avoids stereotypes by treating the acoustic guitar parts with more earthy tones and the heavy parts with a near grind like intensity. "Begotten Not Made" is slower, doomy track with very interesting and challenging lyrics - a treat for both the ears and the mind.

The overall sound of the disc is quite solid; the music for this disc was recorded on the same board that AC/DC used to capture the songs that ended up on "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap". The production for this debut, which was recorded in 10 days, is very good; however, at times the production lacks a certain crispness that leaves the music sounding dense and murky.

The band is comprised of Aaren "Suds" Suttil on drums, Damon Alcock on guitar, Andrew Harold Livingstone-Squires aka "Squiz" on bass guitar, Richie Poate on guitar and keyboards, and Greg Trull on vocals. For more information check out http://www.dreadnaught.com.au/.


"Idiosyncrasy" (Traction Bleeder Records)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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"Idiosyncrasy" is a five track mini-CD follow up to the debut "Body Blood Skin Mind" and it demonstrates Dreadnaught's ability to streamline their aggressive metal attack into a more powerful and focused effort.

"The Gobbler" continues the hard rock thread of the debut album as it contains gothic death metal vocals. Also in the gothic vein, but in a musical sense, is "You Look How I Feel" which is more of an instrumental as the subdued vocal adds character to the song's overall effect rather than trying to convey a clear sense of purpose. "Skin Deep" is a sensible plea for harmony between all people; it has a musical interlude that sounds perfect for radio.

The most fear-rendering track is the harsh "I Remember Being Alive" which is concerned with technology leading to a loss of humanity. Staring at a future ruled by DNA technology, the main character's pleas for compassion and an anti-technology rant override the dry metallic sounds of the music. Very interesting stuff.

It's tough to categorize Dreadnaught. There's no doubting the boundary- challenging music they offer which appeals to the heart as well as the mind. One must simply imagine a hard rock foundation with forays into different styles and moods - all of which is part of creating something new. People must be taking notice of Dreadnaught's efforts as the band has recently toured with Cathedral and Pitchshifter. Dreadnaught are hard at work on their full length follow-up to this mini-CD.

The line-up for "Idiosyncrasy" remained the same as the debut: Aaren "Suds" Suttil on drums, Damon Alcock on guitar, Andrew Harold Livingstone-Squires aka Squiz on bass guitar, Richie Poate on guitar and keyboards, and Greg Trull on vocals.

Check out the band's website at http://www.dreadnaught.com.au/ and keep track of their progress.


Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Mar 2016 12:47:08 -0500.