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Dreadnought Explores the Depths on “Luminous Scale”


Dreadnought is returning. It’s been two years since this Denver-based progressive post-blackdoom band released Bridging Realms to wide acclaim. That album found the band fully grounded and mature — shoring up the occasional messiness of 2013’s Lifewoven — setting high bars with fanciful melodies and epic instrumental variance. Dreadnought chose correctly in drawing heavily from (but significantly darkening) Bridging Realms on their upcoming third full-length A Wake In Sacred Waves, out on October 6th. Check out an exclusive stream of the album’s penultimate track “Luminous Scale” below.

The beginning of “Luminous Scale” emerges as one of the gentlest moments on A Wake In Sacred Waves, but its climax soars as one of the strongest. Driven by vocalist/guitarist/flutist Kelly Schilling’s chilling clean-sung voice, “Luminous Scale” builds patiently across its 11-minute runtime (the shortest song on the album, actually), adding layers for density and jammable diversions for flavor. Proggy, generally nonaggressive drum beats and riffs create digestible interplay, juxtaposed somewhat by the harsh ache of Schilling’s well-placed dirty vocals. There’s never a moment with little (or nothing) going on: a textured and intricate wall of sound emerges, and Dreadnought relishes in manipulating it for maximum dramatic effect.

A Wake In Sacred Waves is water-themed (as Schilling explains below). “Luminous Scale” especially feels aquatic, not dissimilar from The Ocean’s 2013 album Pelagial, but certainly more morose. (The fear we all have of deep, deep water is an apt descriptor). This theme carries over holistically on the other three tracks from A Wake In Sacred Waves. While they feature a higher concentration of aggressive moments — including the occasional set of blast beats — they share the depth-y, somber, strangeland tone of “Luminous Scale.” Even as playfully complex as ever, Dreadnought remains stern-faced and resolute, making A Wake In Sacred Waves one of the more moving heavy releases this year.

From Schilling:

Each album is loosely based on an element. Lifewoven was Earth, Bridging Realms was ether, and this is our water album. You could think of them like Zelda temples. We wanted to make this a little bit darker and heavier because we were going through heavier parts of our lives. This record tells a story about the process of life and death. A sea creature evolves into an apex predator, takes over everything, and then falls from grace. It mirrors humanity’s own existential struggle.

Dreadnought is on tour. Dates below.

10/19: Rapid City, SD – West Dakota Improv
10/20: Bozeman, MT – Zebra Lounge
10/21: Kalispel, MT – Old School Records
10/23: Seattle, WA – Highline
10/24: Olympia, WA – Cryptatropa
10/25: Portland, OR – The Know
10/26: Eugene, OR – Old Nick’s Pub
10/27: Chico, CA – Lost on Main
10/28: Sacramento, CA – The Blue Lamp
10/29: Oakland, CA – Golden Bull
10/31: San Diego, CA – The Merrow
11/01: Las Vegas, NV – The Garth
11/02: Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall
11/03: Cheyenne, WY – TBA
11/04: Denver, CO – Hi Dive

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