Dreadnought’s epic new album Emergence feels like a primal reckoning with reflections of the universe that we carry inside ourselves. The band’s particular brand of doom-soaked metal feels cerebral and cosmic, forcing our eyes to turn not just upward but inward, which can be a monumental task. The massive train of riffs this band deliver on their new record makes the task doable, with the music surging like a relentless cascade of ocean waves crashing into you over and over again. Musically — just like those waves — Emergence packs a massive punch, delivering restrained and careful but inescapably forceful heaviness. Somehow, in the midst of this noisy, intense musical meltdown there’s a strong sense of majesty that emerges.
The particularly “careful” approach Dreadnought take makes for a fascinating listening experience. Even while delivering sonically monumental avalanches, for instance, a great majority of the vocal work is soft and restrained, floating along like a breeze through the underbrush more than a force demanding your attention right here and right now. Via that element and the occasionally substantive but gently flowing music, Dreadnought feel like they’re opening up new horizons not just for heavy music as a concept but for themselves and listeners who partake in Emergence. It’s the sound of a painful but worthwhile passage to another state of being encapsulating some kind of new understanding about the limits and nature of the mud pit in which we’re often stuck that’s exemplified by the deeply unsettling, sludgy musical elements on the record.
Emotionally, thanks to the careful nuances that come to help define Emergence well beyond the level of a simple garnish, Dreadnought push their backbreaking heaviness into a realm of clear emotional impact. Listening doesn’t just feel like being hit by those sonic waves but also like being taken to the next step — sailing across the waves before being carefully set down by a guiding, watchful force in some new territory. The newest record from Dreadnought teems with the feeling and excitement of discovery; never feeling too tied down, it pushes already extreme metal textures to new lengths. It gets at some of the tantalizing “enlightenment” hiding under some of the noise.
Listen below via Bandcamp. The full record drops May 10 via Profound Lore Records