Ever since Opeth decided to cut out the death metal from their sound, I’ve found myself disappointed, upset and slightly worried about the state of the progressive metal scene. I’m happy to report, however, that the scene is alive and kicking thanks to Dreadnought’s terrific new album, A Wake in Sacred Waves.
Across four lengthy tracks Dreadnought takes you on a voyage to the unknown and back. It’s at once calm, relaxing and insane. There’s an undercurrent of doom running throughout the record, with fuzzy riffs galore, but it is more experimental and exciting than most of that sub-genre thanks to plenty of genius instrumental sections. “Luminous Scale”, for example, opens with some calming, gentle mandolin, played over Porcupine Tree-esque bass guitar and drums with Kelly Schilling and Lauren Vieira’s lovely swoons over the top. Then, around the three-minute mark, a blast-beat kicks in, followed by some guttural screams. It’s clear that Dreadnought are fans of Opeth.
Each of the four tracks contain plenty of progression and experimentation. Along with the mandolin, the flute, piano and tenor saxophone turn up to the party. There’s a lot going on here, but it’s never overwhelming. Indeed, A Wake in Sacred Waves flows effortlessly between its ideas and differing sounds, making for a cohesive and enjoyable whole. It’s an excellently designed record that contains no filler or padding in its lengthy tracks - you’ll easily listen to all eighteen minutes of “Vacant Sea” without getting bored.
Despite its leans to the doom sound, Dreadnought’s A Wake in Sacred Waves certainly borrows heavily from the Opeth school of music writing and production. Full of fuzzy riffs, calm and death metal pace, this is an endlessly enjoyable record that fills in from where Opeth themselves left off. It’s nice to know that progressive metal as quality as this still exists. A Wake in Sacred Waves is a bold, smart record that demands your attention.
A Wake in Sacred Waves Track Listing:
01. Vacant Sea
02. Within Chanting Waters
03. Luminous Scale
04. A Drifting Reign
Run Time: 53:32
Release Date: October 6, 2017
Whet your appetite with a stream of the band's "Within Chanting Waters"