Dreadnought has been one of Denver’s most reliable local bands for the past few years. They can be found opening for almost any post-rock or math-rock show in the Denver Area. If these genres aren’t for you, Dreadnought might not be either; but for those who like long intricate instrumentals scattered with screams, Dreadnought might be what you’ve been looking for.
The band has two major EPs each with only 5 to 6 songs. Their 2013 release, Livewoven, made a big impact on the Denver music scene, which is usually scattered with punk bands and classical rock trios.
The instrumentation alone stands out like a sore thumb. There are heavy metal guitars followed by a piano that sounds like it came straight out of an old opera. The track “Divulge” begins as if it belongs in an old western film and then quickly opens up into an unexpectedly breathtaking guitar solo.
Despite only having six tracks, Livewoven takes almost a full hour to listen to. Combining this will its instrumental nature, the LP makes terrific studying music as Mines students begin to start in on their heavy coursework.
In between what feels like a never ending tour schedule, Dreadnought somehow managed to record another LP in 2015, entitled Bridging Realms after the album’s closing track.
Bridging Realms is only five songs but still takes over 50 minutes to get through. The opening track “Ode to Ether” really gives the listener a good feel for the album and makes the listener want to hear more. Sadly, its follow up track “Odyssey” is rather disappointing with a build up that lasts far too long and annoyingly repetitive and complicated drums for the latter half of the song.
One of the later songs on the album, “Transpiration,” does have a cool jazzy feel that only a smooth saxophone could generate; a welcome surprise for any instrumentally-driven album.
One of the shortcomings of the band is definitely the vocals. Two vocal stylings are prevalent in Dreadnought’s discography: soft female vocals mixed in with screams that belong in heavy metal.
The screams feel extremely out of place for the vibe the band’s instrumentation provides, and it begs the question whether or not they really need to be there. The soft female vocals are nice, except sometimes they are trying to be more powerful than the vocalist seems capable of.