The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion review by dredg

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  • Released: Jun 9, 2009
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.9 (28 votes)
dredg: The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion
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Sound — 9
After hearing the first three singles for the past month - Saviour, I Don't Know, Information - I was ready for more a Catch Without Arms sound, which is not a bad thing. However, the listener is treated to an even better sound, The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion (PPD from here on out) has its own unique mix of all past Dredg albums while treading new sonic territory. There are far more uses of quirky instruments and a more diverse sound that all somehow meld nicely together. This is not a loud album, but one with many subtle undertones. Definitely give it at least one listen with headphones on. I especially love the different kind of transitions within each song. Listen to Pariah and the first thing you hear sounds like some type of nursery rhyme from an R&B album or something you would hear played during a dance from Mia Michaels on the tv show So You Think You Can Dance (I know, weird reference:). There are three distinct sonic elements that all meld well together. All of the 'fillers' really do add to the overall theme and sound, so be sure to listen all the way through.

Lyrics — 10
My first reaction was, "Blah, bland." But as with most lyrics you need to let them sit and digest - it is hard to 'get' lyrics after 12 listens, but I'll do my best. Overall I think this is Dredg's finest lyrical albums. Each song by itself has interesting lyrical content, but as a whole the album's lyrics are much, much more interesting. Look at the song titles. Really listen to the lyrics in the beginning and contrast them with the lyrics in the last songs. This is an album describing a journey. I don't have a concrete idea about what Gavin and the guys are saying, but I can feel that it is epic and powerful. On their own, some of the 'fillers' can sound 'cheesy' (R U O K), but taken in context they work and are very powerful. So far my favorite is contrasting Ireland with Quotes. It is interesting to note that in Ireland the singer is 'never gonna leave this place' and then in Quotes is looking for 'a way outta here.' Many references have been made to Salman Rushdie's essay Imagine There's No Heaven: A Letter to the 6 Billionth Citizen"... Which makes for even more interesting lyrical fodder.

Overall Impression — 10
I admit, on first listen this album had me saying "not bad, but I'm a little underwhelmed." As with most great art (think Tool, Isis, Dream Theater, Pelican) you will need to give this album a few listens before making up your mind on its greatness. For me, this is one of the best albums I have heard in a while. Go buy it now!

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Spoony_Bard
    My favorite band ever. Dredg will never disappoint. I've never heard a band that has fashioned their own sound so clearly. Excellent review, Duncan.
    mcgeez
    I like it. It seems like a good progression for them. Good instrumentation, interesting production. I think some of the melodies are less heart wrenching and less poetic mastery like 'of the room' or 'ode to the sun'
    CtrlZ
    I want to like these guys, I loved their first album Leitmotif. But nothing they've done since has sounded as cool and unique. It's like the singer completely changed his voice after that one. Having recently seen them live I was less than impressed, and now with this mediocre album, I'm gonna have to say i'm no longer a fan. It sounds to me like the reviewer is almost forcing himself to like it, 9.5? i don't think so.
    duncang
    CtrlZ wrote: I want to like these guys, I loved their first album Leitmotif. But nothing they've done since has sounded as cool and unique. It's like the singer completely changed his voice after that one. Having recently seen them live I was less than impressed, and now with this mediocre album, I'm gonna have to say i'm no longer a fan. It sounds to me like the reviewer is almost forcing himself to like it, 9.5? i don't think so.
    Leitmotif is my least favourite album. Maybe that's an indicator?
    ShoeFaceBass
    Despite ripping off Opeth's special edition of Watershed artwork these guys sound quite cool. Gonna check them out now
    Vlasco
    CtrlZ wrote: I want to like these guys, I loved their first album Leitmotif. But nothing they've done since has sounded as cool and unique. It's like the singer completely changed his voice after that one. Having recently seen them live I was less than impressed, and now with this mediocre album, I'm gonna have to say i'm no longer a fan. It sounds to me like the reviewer is almost forcing himself to like it, 9.5? i don't think so.
    I like random songs from their other albums, but Leitmotif hit a nice tone in my bones and it really sticks out to me. I feel the same way - I really want to like their newer stuff but it just isn't what I'm looking for.
    huevos
    These dredg fellows are something nice. This is what the Musefags should be raving about. Subtly reminds of At The Drive-In, which is always good.
    Jeffero28
    Love this album after 3 listens with only a couple gripes. One is Gavin's vocals are compressed too much on certain songs. Overall he still sounds good and they lyrics are above average, even by dredg standards. Of the tracks that are complete songs the only 2 I really wasn't into were Mourning this Morning and Gathering Pebbles. Not sure I like them continuing in the direction of putting walzy funk type bass lines on songs like Zebraskin from CWOA and these 2. Not bad songs but don't seem to fit with the rest of the album and are usually the ones I skip after I have had plenty of time to digest each track. Mark Engles is a great guitarist, wish there was more of him and more volume in the mix. And only one song with the lap steel. Picky complaints I know..especially after so few listens.
    duncang
    Jeffero28 And only one song with the lap steel.
    Uh...no? There's plenty.