Release Date: June 9, 2009
Reviewed by Evelyn Miska
Going simply by the band’s name, those unfamiliar with the band might expect Dredg’s sound to be more in the realm of screaming, discordant and harsh metal. The band’s fourth full-length album will come as a total surprise if this is what you are expecting. Full of elaborate melodies, The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion ebbs and flows with surprising musicality, rhythm and nuance.
The opening track “Pariah” might seem slightly clichÈd with the children’s chorus on the opening, but the song quickly moves in a different direction. Gavin Hayes’ occasionally strident vocals during the verses are balanced with the melodic chorus. “Drunk Slide” has a darker sound to it and makes more use of electronic sounds, but still manages to maintain the style established in “Pariah.” As on a few other occasions on the album, “Drunk Slide” is a purely instrumental track, offering a break of sorts between other songs.
“Ireland” is one of the few songs that verges slightly into ballad territory, but, as with most Dredg songs, the band finds a good balance between styles and that prevents the track from seeming too saccharine. “Gathering Pebbles” is one of the rare places where the album falls short. The track just sounds too pop-oriented and a bit dated; perhaps it would have worked better if the song was written in the late 1980s. However, songs like “Saviour” make up for the occasional misstep by bringing back the guitar riffs, pounding drums and tempered electronica. “Long Days and Vague Clues” is another instrumental track that opens with a really cool sounding string section and maintains that melody throughout much of the song. It would have been interesting to see what the band might have done with it if it had been made to include a vocal section.
The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion will be a surprising album to those unfamiliar with Dredg, but the quality of the songs and general strength of the writing is likely to convert those uninitiated. The album does verge on the slightly epic side with 18 tracks, but somehow the band figured out a way to make each song unique and not seem like a repeat of others. Overall, an excellent album with a lot going for it.