Dreadnought – Bridging Realms (Sailor Records)

Tuesday, 21st July 2015
Rating: 8/10

Having previously checked out Dreadnought’s Lifewoven on Bandcamp a while back, Bridging Realms seems a very appropriate title for the band’s newest release. With their sound pushing in a number of directions (in some ways even more so than Lifewoven), they are often playing a game of bridging metal subgenres, though it’s a skill that they are quite adept at.

Bridging Realms takes many liberties with its expression. There are influences and sounds running the gamut – from progressive to psychedelic to black metal to folk to stoner…and beyond. With five lengthy tracks, they have plenty of time to build in the transitions so that things flow seamlessly and without distraction. For just one example: “Ode to Ether” opens the album with some folky/jazzy bits on the mellow side, slowly building in more progressive elements as the music pulls you further in – to the point of some fuzzy, stoner-esque guitars reverberating on top of some blackened rasps. Things then take a step back in a more ‘70s progressive rock leaning direction with some intriguing melodies and clean female vocals. There are a few bits of psychedelia laced within the back-end of the track, which slowly returns to its more folky beginnings. As you can see, there’s quite a bit happening within each track – the remaining four songs also work within the same loose framework.

What you might also notice if you’ve heard Lifewoven is that Bridging Realms is a bit less heavy. It’s not a bad thing – it’s serves the purposes of the songs. In fact, the few times that things don’t transition quite as well are when they are moving into/out of the heavier segments. But those times are few and far between, and Bridging Realms should take Dreadnought into a place of adoration of most progressive fans. If you are looking for something different, Bridging Realms will fill that void – there’s truly nothing out there quite like it.

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