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Dreadnaught – Caught The Vultures Sleeping

Dreadnaught
Caught The Vultures Sleeping
by Anton Sanatov at 26 February 2017, 7:39 PM

Intensity is a hard thing to maintain. You see the sweat, you hear the palpitations and you can sense the fire slowly waking from the tickles of the maturing sparks; and yet that warming zeal is always under threat of dwindling before reaching a cathartic end.

Most people tend to shun intensity in favour of moments of ‘relaxation’, and thus the benefits of the former are often overlooked. Yet when that rubber band has a chance to snap and the dust settles following an explosion of extremes, one may find a state of peace that could never otherwise have been achieved by tranquillity alone; perhaps that is why a lot of us have leant towards this genre - for few others can match the stellar intensity of our beloved Metal.

Australia’s DREADNAUGHT have been producing their blend of Progressively-tinged Heavy Metal since the early 90’s, and whilst such longevity may be commendable for any band, it is too often that we see an outfit loose the ability to bring their fans to the edges of their seats along the way. Yet on their latest release “Caught The Vultures Sleeping”, the Australian Metallers, although tentative in their approach, prove that they still contain a fair pinch of zeal in their sound.

Having said that, this is not the most exciting Metal record that you will hear; unfortunately it is far from it. Following an overindulgent and tedious intro “Pure Lunacy” finally kicks into an angst-filled march that goes forth strong with a heavy, rolling drum beat and some explorative albeit not very memorable ambient guitar work. Things then get a lot more interesting as the opener is replaced by one of the album’s highlights “The Hated”. The electronically spruced track drips with energetic ambition and determined delivery, showcasing influences from modern bands in the likes of THE UNGUIDED whilst seeping with seasoned maturity; in addition to blistering the tape with some sharp guitar licks that flutter and sting like bionic insects.

The contrast between the two primary compositions is perhaps quite representative of the record as a whole, for as we move further down the track list we comes across “Welcome To Oblivion” which turns out to be yet another rather bland, Progressive, acoustically-tinged offering that reeks of classic Metal sentimentalities whilst attempting to infuse them with brash contemporary strokes of big chords that never quite manage to lift the song out of plain territories. However, the album’s artistic direction is redeemed by poignant, sombre offerings like the paced, introspective ballad “Set Fire to the Plan” and the instrumental title track, both of which bring forth some much needed emotional intensity. The record’s “Metal factor” is also upheld quite royally by the simple yet raging thrasher twins “Aim to Destroy” and “Clenched Fist”.

The production is fine, albeit a touch wooden, and the mix too, whilst crisp and at the same time righteously raw, occasionally lack the cogency to make these songs as strong as they could be. The songwriting on this record is indeed quite driven and inspired (not to mention virtuously Metal) and the album maintains some moderate diversity whilst holding onto a clear centre of gravity. Alas, the band seem to be gripping onto the latter a touch too fearfully and thus the overall offering appears to be too repressed and uneventful.

Overall – even though “Caught The Vultures Sleeping” is stellar in its musicality, it is leagues from a soaring triumph. For all its Progressive efforts, it is a bit too constrained to offer anything of note, and thus ends being a mere stepping stone in the band’s career.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Pure Lunacy
  2. The Hated
  3. Welcome to Oblivion
  4. Set Fire to the Plan
  5. Caught the Vultures Sleeping
  6. Aim to Destroy
  7. Clenched Fist
  8. Warning Signs
Lineup:
Damon - Guitar
Richie - Guitar
Ando - Bass
Greg - Vocals
Marty – Drums
Record Label: Rocket Distribution
     


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