A Wake In Sacred Waves

by Dreadnought

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Wez Barber
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Wez Barber Love the entire record; it swirls all around me, one mood to the next; like an atmospheric movie soundtrack. Doom, black, jazz, folk; awesomeness.
sam_stigma thumbnail
sam_stigma You don't pick one reason why you love Dreadnought. They are a powerful, creative force and commands recognition when you hear it. Their unique song structures will leave the listener on edge waiting for the chance to breathe. Beautiful harmonies and haunting melodies flood the soundscape. 10/10 recommend Dreadnought to everyone. Favorite track: Within Chanting Waters.
Sanity Theorist
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Sanity Theorist This is totally outside of my usual tastes, but absolutely colossal and massive. The heavier sections hit in waves between the more serene, proggy ones. The only real reference point that comes to mind is Ne Obliviscaris, but this is still a different beast. Bonus points to their bassist for knowing how to weave root notes and lead bass, as well as props to the drummer for playing sax WHILE DRUMMING LIVE. Insane talent, please support. Favorite track: Vacant Sea.
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A mythical connection exists between nature and music.

Within vast forests, pagans traditionally participated in midnight drum circles around cackling flames. Led Zeppelin recorded the seminal Led Zeppelin III at the infamous secluded 18th century Bron-Yr-Aur cottage deep in the wilderness. Pink Floyd cut 1987’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason and 1994’s The Division Bell on the Astoria houseboat.

Nestled among the Rocky Mountains, it’s hard to escape the influence of nature in Colorado. Maybe they didn’t record in the woods or on the high seas, but Denver outfit Dreadnought breathes fresh air through extreme music like a torrential force of nature nonetheless. On their third full-length album A Wake In Sacred Waves [Sailor Records], the quartet—Kelly Schilling [guitar, flute, clean & harsh vocals], Jordan Clancy [drums, saxophone], Kevin Handlon [bass, mandolin, lyrics], and Lauren Vieira [keys, clean vocals]—redefine the boundaries of heavy, swinging from gusts of black metal double bass, guttural guitar, and haunting harmonic hymnals to reprieves of fairy tale flute, anesthetic mandolin, and jazz saxophone. (For the uninitiated, think Joni Mitchell guesting with Wolves in the Throne Room).

That singular style quietly turned ears towards the band on their 2013 debut Lifewoven and its critically lauded follow-up Bridging Realms in 2015. The latter earned acclaim from the likes of Terrorizer Magazine, Invisible Oranges, AXS, Metal Sucks, Metal Injection, and more, while the group toured with Wayfarer and Ford Theatre Reunion in addition to sharing the stage with the Devin Townsend Project.

A Wake In Sacred Waves sees their patented sound consciously evolve with sharper claws, but a warmer embrace.

“Each album is loosely based on an element,” explains Kelly. “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.”

The journey begins with the 17 minute-plus “Vacant Sea.” Sucked down an aquatic wormhole of claustrophobic distortion, spellbinding melodies, and unpredictable instrumental wizardry, the record immediately extends its tentacles. “Within Chanting Waters” mitigates brutality with bliss as “To Luminous Scale” and “A Drifting Reign” coalesce into a mind-blowing aural climax.

Kevin explains, “In ‘Vacant Sea’, a species gets chased into a giant trench, where it evolves into the alpha in a new ecosystem. ‘Within Changing Waters’ discusses the way life relates to the ocean itself. The water can be interpreted as the nature goddess. The final two songs see the predator come into self-discovery, rise, and then come to ruin as the rest of her species and prey turn against her and take her down.”

Dreadnought represents a new face for extreme music across the board. The presence of flute, mandolin, and saxophone adds subterranean depth to the sonic palette, while dual female melodies make for a majestic and mystical chemistry.

“By virtue of being women, we add a different dynamic, femininity, and perhaps more balance to this genre,” continues Kelly. “Our voices are a color, timbre, and sound that’s unfamiliar and unique. That makes the music extra exciting for us.”

A Wake In Sacred Waves also conjures an undeniable listening experience for anyone who boards Dreadnought’s ship.

“I hope people react in a natural way,” she leaves off. “No matter what it is, I just want them to feel something when they hear us.”


released October 6, 2017

Recorded and mixed at the Boar's Nest by Andy Patterson
Mastered by Brad Boatright of Audioseige
Artwork by Mark Facey


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Track Name: Vacant Sea
We will awake from slumber
We build our homes in silence
We structure our existence
We will not compromise our captive minds
We are exposed

At the eye of the tempest
The Earth’s womb cultivates
Witness the discord
At this maelstrom’s walls

Faint, sublime, overpowered,
The tempest beckons me
Chaos below the crest,
The tempest threatens me

Within chanting waters
Twilight clutches dawn
Tears the light from in her
Within chanting waters
Night parades his song
Etches devastation

Our home, a table for the feast
We will not stand idle and fall
So we must
Turn tail
And flee
To the depths

She chants. Her body sings in distant waves
These hours consume my breath, I lie in wait

Warmth of light dismissed here,
So far from the sky
My existence remiss, I dive to the floor
And find heat and a serenity
Among the ashes of the ancient ones
Ours will be the glow
That bathes these silent waters
Track Name: Within Chanting Waters
Product of purge
And rapture
Questioning matters of fate
Burgeoning youth stumble,
Grow humble but mighty

Vestiges linger
Dying beneath the skin
Only survivors
Exalt a falling sky

Anxiously forging ahead,
We wonder, in this state,
Are we the whole, or am I?

Vestiges linger
Rotting beneath the skin
Only survivors
Exalt a falling sky

These cell walls
Ignite and perform
Draw life in
To stimulate growth
Time runs thin, ‘neath ripple and roil

I grow stronger

Raise eyes to morning, raise eyes
Ascend in mourning, raise eyes
Raise eyes to morning, raise eyes
New era dawning, raise eyes.
Track Name: To Luminous Scale
Shameless and abrasive
Mammoth and serene
Teeming with aggression
Standing at attention
Wrecking earth below
Bathe in her supremacy
Hell’s resplendent glow

These bones within my mouth
Cut like a fin through calm water
Alive, my spirit bold - What is this pride?

Lay witness
Her ascension
To luminous Scale
This chasm
Now her kingdom
To luminous scale

One must learn how to compose oneself
One must learn to tame one’s rage
Her spirit is of a behemoth form
Her soul is burdened with a dim contempt

Keep away the beast that haunts this place
Keep away your rotting purity
Keep away from your tribe
Keep away your hunger
Pray this hold surrenders you
You could have been a heroine
Track Name: A Drifting Reign
He beside me feels not the fury
(nor the crippling ache of madness)
Whispers flood the home
Where breath is wasted
Solemnly, to taunt a dying soul
It seems too soon

I lament my cursed dreams.
The tempest beckons me,
It masks the filth of the dregs
That sustained my being

Damned to these arctic depths
Cursing fate that bound me here,
A waste of valor
I was built to conquer the sky!
Is the legend
Doomed to be buried in sand
With only her name?

I command
The dust beneath my flesh!
Mother meld my bone in her likeness
Bound to her might, I erupted
Bound to her might-

I lament my cursed dreams
The tempest beckons me,
It masks the filth of the dregs
That sustained my-

Rue passing day
Sing, beast of prey
Rue passing day
(Foolish in heart, tainted blood of)
Sing beast of prey
(...a fragile, headstrong, hunted breed)

Weeping away...
(Misfortune favors those whose progeny they’ll die for)
...These waning days
Voice of divinity warns of impending downfall

Whispers penetrate,
Echoes escalate
Silent, beating heart
(Beware the consequence of steadfast arrogance-)
Silent, pounding heart
(-To dance on mother’s molten breast)

I wrestle the crude assemblage, crucifying my celestial power… The last winds of breath escape in a howl of agony. Still, I revel. I will endure as legend. I will be named a god!

Ever-longing for ascension
Buried skyward I remain
Ever-longing for ascension
Buried skyward I remain

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