El Cielo is dredg‘s second album, released on October 8, 2002. Like dredg’s first album, Leitmotif, El Cielo is a concept album. The title can be translated to mean "the sky" or "heaven" in Spanish, and to mean "peace and freedom of expression" in dreams.
One of dredg’s main influences on the album, El Cielo, was a painting by Salvador Dalí entitled Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bumblebee around a Pomegranate One Second Before Awakening, which is also what the acronym in "Brushstroke: dcbtfoabaaposba" stands for. The painting was unveiled in 1944 and clearly influences many of the album’s core themes and song titles, for example a long-legged elephant ("An Elephant In The Delta Waves") with a papal insignia upon its back ("The Papal Insignia" was a song recorded for El Cielo but only saw release of Industry Demos, recorded in 2001 and didn’t make it onto El Cielo). Also pictured is a woman laying in a canyon ("The Canyon Behind Her"). Band members have been quoted as saying that this Dali painting is sleep paralysis, a literal representation of the condition from which Dali’s wife actually suffered.
This is further supported by the translation of the Japanese spoken words from the beginning of "The Canyon Behind Her" – "This album was inspired by a painting titled: ‘Dream Caused By the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate One Second Before Awakening’. It is recommended that you view this painting as you listen to El Cielo. It is as if one stimulus awakens other senses. In other words, it’s about ‘drawing music.’"
The booklet with El Cielo contains letters written by sufferers of sleeping disorders with descriptions of various experiences with or relating to sleep paralysis. Singer Gavin Hayes incorporates and expands upon the material found in the booklet for the lyrics to the album; All of the songs on the album (except the instrumentals, obviously) contain snippets of the text in the booklet.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Cielo
Catch Without Arms is the third album from the Los Gatos, CA rock band dredg, released on June 21, 2005. The album signifies a change to a simpler, and more straightforward musical style for the band.
Lead singer Gavin Hayes comments on his lyrical approach to this album, saying, "The whole underlying basis of the lyrics and the music is opposites, contrasts… I’d written some lyrics that are based around conversations or arguments, so we thought about a record with two halves that contrast each other. The whole basis of the record could be about objection to ideas, and contrast."
The album was released with a booklet containing art created by dredg bassist, Drew Roulette and lead singer, Gavin Hayes. Initially there was an original painting created for each song and two others, a total of 14 paintings, in the Catch Without Arms Collection, which are available for purchase through the band’s website by e-mailing here. These paintings, while abstract in nature, all contain elements directly and indirectly related to the song they portray. The artwork not only was an accompaniment to the album, but also the map to a treasure. Over several weeks, various clues were posted on the official dredg website that were meant to point users to a buried treasure of sorts. Once the treasure was found, another hunt began for the three people who found the original treasure.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch_Without_Arms
El Cielo reviews:
First off…WOW! I boght this album after I fell in love with Dredg’s 3rd effort, Catch Without Arms. And let me just say, this completely overlapped that album by leaps and bounds! This is a concept album regarding sleep paralysis, and it mixes the best elements of art-rock and progressive metal/rock, with an atmospheric–almost psychedelic feel on certain tracks.
Gavin’s vocals are beautiful, and sometimes even haunting. He doesn’t really scream, which alot of people may or may not like, but what he does is perfect for the music. The lyrical content is top-notch as well. I’d almost put this album up there with the best of Tool’s work when it comes to unbiased creativity in the modern prog sub-genres.
Anyways, this is an amazing album. A breath of fresh air in this MTV run world. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this gem. There aren’t many bands of this caliber in this day and age.
Dredg is a facinating band. Cool enough to dedicate an album to a Salvadore Dali artpiece and sleep paralysis.
Throughout the artpiece (it truely is), are the most beautiful lines of lyrical poetry.
I would consider this album "the artist’s work anthem" in that it speaks for all independant artists out there, and is perfect for working to. I played this CD in my art class, during which everybody seemed highly absorbed in their drawings. They all seemed to like it.
Scissor Lock is a huge favorite of mine, since the subject of sleep paralysis captivates me.
If you’re into art of any kind, listen to this. Indeed, it’s one of my favorite albums.
I imagine that Dredg’s El Cielo is the musical equivalent of having a ten hour long, stressful day at work and then flolloping onto a chair in a park and lighting up a cigarette. Dredg use their extraordinary talent at creating atmospheres to pacify, rather than making you want to rip your face off.
It all starts with Gavin Hayes’s voice, which I’ll just straight off say is beautiful. I’d even go so far to say that even if the rest of the band had no clue what they were doing, he could still carry this album into the "decent" category. But the rest of the band do know what they’re doing, and that is where the fun begins. Using a laid back songwriting style that ebbs and flows casually between musical ideas, beautiful tones on their instruments, and subtle layering, manipulating, and sampling of sounds the band accentuates Gavin Hayes’s voice perfectly. The end result is hard to describe, its not really ambitious enough for "prog", far too relaxing for the "alternative", and too damn good to be classified under the pedestrian, adjectiveless "rock". Either way it is beautiful and it is relaxing, thats all you really need to know.
This is one of the greatest albums I own. And its unfortunate that most people will not be able to even hear all the small nuances the album has to offer.
I own the SACD (Super Audio CD) version of this album and, everytime i listen to it, I am blown away by the production and thought that has gone into it. I almost question how mere men were able to conceptualize something this incredible. Every instrument and sound effect is crystal clear.
It’s not one of those boppy pop albums that people throw in and not really pay attention to. Sure, it can be, but there is stuff happening all the time which almost makes you think that the artists are messing with you. Sort of like what Pink Floyd does in Dark Side of the Moon with its ‘hidden’ voices and such, except this album seems to get even more ‘into your head’. Which seems fitting if you consider that the theme is sleep deprivation and surrealism (with a subtopic of auditory hallucinations — see track – Scissor Lock)
If i had to pick one track to play for someone it would be "delta". Listen hard for the whispering voice while he sings "And babies are born in the same buildings where people go to pass away."
Great lyrics that don’t stray far from the theme of the album. Great musical implementation. And incredible production value.
Don’t let the somber vocals deter you, it only further pushes the theme.
Dredg’s highly ambitious concept album "el Cielo" is the kind of work where you take a step back and focus to take in the whole picture. The concept: sleep paralysis and it’s involvement with a certain Salvador Dali painting. Sure, the idea doesn’t ring with excitement, but the music speaks for itself.
The album begins with one of dredg’s peak tracks, "Same Ol’ Road", complete with clicking rim shots, warm clean delayed tones, and a driving chorus which aims to sieze control of every synapse your brain is capable of. It’s at this point the album reels you in and keeps you thinking about the strange journey to be embarked upon through sleep paralysis.
The album is laced with intermission tracks seperating each tale of said sleeping disorder, warm with neat sounds and unique ideas, but never too long to the point of boredom. One of dredg’s signature sounds is delayed tremolo picking, which is in abundance here, but used to add an elegance unimaginable any other way. Tracks like "Sanzen" and "The Canyon Behind Her" depend on this technique, but it’s not overdone unlike their latter effort, "Catch Without Arms."
Songs will sweep you away with strong gusts of wind, tease your brain with odd time signatures, tickle your senses from head to toe, and devour you entirely, swamped by the intensely beautiful sounds this album is built upon. If you’re an art-music fan, you cannot afford to leave "el Cielo" out of your music collection.
For those who doubt, you may want to sample "Same Ol’ Road", "Delta", "Scissor Lock", and "Sanzen", but only after will you salivate for the rest of the album. I can’t imagine life existing without this album in my life.
This album has opened doors for progressive music that no one could ever have dreamt possible; it is hard to fully explain how utterly beautiful and ethereal el cielo is until you have heard it. gavin’s vocals are a huge part of the music, and this cd simply takes you to a place that is beautiful and terrible at the same time. it starts out with one of the best songs on the album, "Same Ol’Road", a cleansing, intelligent tune that will stick to you long after you have heard it. songs that stand out include: triangle, scissor lock, of the room, and whoa is me.
this is just one of the most impressive albums that i have ever heard; buy it!
I was first introduced to dredg through an internet message board. A very very avid member of them told me to download a few of their songs and see what i thought so i did. The first one i listened to ever was "Same ol’ Road" and i didn’t know what to say. I was absolutely speechless. I don’t think you can muster words to describe the music this quartet produces. For someone such as myself who listens to everything, from rock to punk, grindcore to classical and everything in between, this is by far the most amazingly beautifully composed music i’ve ever set my ears upon.
No words can begin to explain how much this band and album means to me so go out and buy it. You will not be dissapointed.
El Cielo is in my opinion the greatest album by any band of all time. As a fan of all types of music I came up with my Top 100 albums of all time and I was shocked to find that "El Cielo" came in at # 1. I spent plenty of time pondering this well thought out decision. To truelly describe the heart and emotion this albums heart beats with would be impossible. I could only say that it has the atmosphere that is Radiohead. The heaviness that is tool. The experimentation that is Pink Floyd. I invite you to discover "El Cielo" and to be changed by its existence. Something this wonderful only comes along once every ten years or so. This album deserves to be remembered like Rage Against the Machines self titled, Pink Floyd – The Wall, and Nirvana’s Nevermind.
Deep,mature and thought-provoking.The second release by Dredg is the only album I have heard,and the other 2 are probably a certain purchase. The "concept" is sleep paralysis and what occurs during this eerie experience. In my mind, truly horrifying. These are sincere musicians concerned only with artistic integrity,and they convey this concept with excellent musical composition. The songs are connected with "brushstrokes"and seem to me at least,incorporating one song. It might take a few listens to be fully revealed,but is worth the time.Once again, a superb release. For a more in-depth understanding of the concept on your searchbar type in "The flight of a bee all around a pomegranate just a moment before awakening." Based on a Salvador Dali painting. Peace.
The other reviews have said this perfectly. This cd is perfect. A mix of intelligent songwriting, a great concept, awesome vocals, and beautiful music. Buy now. Now.
Taken from: http://www.amazon.com
Catch Without Arms reviews:
With this CD, dredg has created a near-masterpiece. Although each song has the ability to stand on its own, the album still has that seamless, flowing quality that fans of El Cielo will be familiar with. Odd snippets of dialogue, laughter, and children’s singing will bridge one song with the next. The album does have a concept, although it is a bit more loose and subtle than on their previous two records; it deals with communication, opposing viewpoints, and symbiosis. Upon closer inspection to the lyrics, one will see references between songs. First single "Bug Eyes" has the lyric "Spit at eachother from a distance", while "Spitshine" has another side to these words. Powerful album-opener "Ode To The Sun" makes metaphorical and literal references to the sun, while the song "Planting Seeds" talks about nurturing and wanting something to grow, an obvious link between the two pieces. "Zebraskin" would be the perfect soundtrack to someone on a tropical island, walking in the hot sun after having too much to drink, while "Hungover On A Tuesday" seems to be the match-up here. At other times only the music will provide a link; the opening strains of "Ode To The Sun" later appear in a rearranged, backwards form in "Jamais Vu."
Musically, Catch Without Arms is without error. Mark’s guitars wail, moan, and cry one minute, and stand back with reflective walls of sound the next. The bass guitar (courtesy of Drew Roulette) will pound you over the head on one song, and be a subtle, groove-like undercurrent for another. Dino’s drumming isn’t mixed quite as well as it was on El Cielo, but it fits this particular album nicely, his piano and keyboard sections also standing out. Gavin Hayes’ vocals really shine here, soaring with emotion and beauty, and beautiful restraint and subtlety when required.
My most listened to album ever. had it since it came out in june 2005 and i’ve probably listened to it on average of about twice a week (which puts it at over 100 listens for me). every song is ridiculously well-crafted. the album is full of glorious melodies fluid, energetic, and dexturous drumming melodic, punchy, and groovy basswork, beauiful, melodic, tremolo’d guitars, and sensual, dynamic, emotional vocals. each song is a lesson in absolutely tight songwriting that compliments each indiviual of the group while never overstating any one trait. an absolutely masterpiece of modern rock/prog/post-rock/whatever! definitely on the short-list of my favorite albums ever.
WOW, dredg is just an all around amazing band. They’re not comparable to anyone else, melodic, electronic, heavy at times, and always beautiful. The music, vocals, and lyrics on this record are flat out amazing. The singer has an amazing voice, the guitar work is smooth and flows perfectly, the drumming fits in perfectly, and the effects add to the songs without drawing attention away ffrom everything else. Stand out songs, "Sang Real", "Bug Eyes", ‘Catch Without Arms", heck, every single one is a stand out track, not one bad song on this album, if you have half a brain, you’ll pick it up today, these guys are worth whatever you end up paying for the album, don’t download it.
Taken from: http://www.amazon.com
El Cielo poetry:
Here we go down that same old road again. Sympathy unfolds the shell that holds all the beauty within. Here we go down that same old road again. Empathy controls the wind that blows and tickles our skin. (same ol’ road)
All you need is a modest house in a modest neighborhood, in a modest town where honest people dwell. Making the cleanest energy for the greenest plants to grow, richest soil that is drenched with the freshest rain. Then you should sit in your backyard, watch clouds peak over the tallest mountain tops, cuz they unveil honest opinions about the stars. (same ol’ road)
Longing for what has been lost. Longing for what hasn’t been obtained. It’s a small cost. Forgot the past, lost the future, only now remains. (sanzen)
Watch it explode while fragments of ironies examples fly and hit the shore. And tyranny’s torn from the podiums where leaders stand but rule no more. Watch it explode while it’s not impossible for flowers to bloom and grow next to graves. And babies are born in the same buildings where people go to pass away. (triangle)
We live like penguins in the desert. Why can’t we live like tribes? (triangle)
Maybe you’ve never seen it. Maybe you’ve never been through it. It’s the only way to understand it. Save your clever statements. Brave yourself if you want in. It’s the only way to understand it. (convalescent)
The opera is over. Singers have all gone home. Seats are empty. The blinds are pulled down. Symphony’s concluded. The instruments are all cased up. The notes are silent. The music’s still apparent. Rents are rising, our lease is up, culture is down, spirits are jaded. Art is dying.
Is art dead? Art is dying. Is it dead? Believe it, we need it to move on. We let art die with robot minds. Steal the brush and paint boundary lines. A stale kind the people we’ll find. Walking in single file line. (eighteen people living in harmony)
Faceless crowd of elderly beings. Roses sprouting yellow glow. Subconcious into the light. Night falls beneath candle light. White squalls beneath winter skies. (off the room)
Think we know, oblivious though. Unified clones sit like stones up on thrones of fool’s gold. Looking bold but all alone. Restore our needed shelter. Our flawless endeavors to be alone. To be alone. (it only took a day)
This drought is leaving me with cracked soil and brown leaves. Floating on a dry lake bed with a dry mouth and foggy head. Waiting for the snow, when the water comes I will overflow. When the water comes I will overflow. (whoa is me)
Does anybody feel this way? Does anybody feel like I do? Though half of me is gone, the lonesome part is there. I cannot find the other half. (the canyon behind her)
Catch Without Arms poetry:
Let the demons have their place, if so it’s angels you’ll create. And disguised within the dark light will wait. (ode to the sun)
Only those who accept will find that acceptance in return. We have been trimmed down like hedges, told just to sit, and wilt and spit at each other from a distance. (bug eyes)
Forgiveness came we embrace the key, found water to douse the flame. We ended our difference of soul and brain, forever we are changed. (planting seeds)
I harmonize with a million screaming laughs that haunted those before us, preaching symphonies while the chorus yelled: "Unity it’s based on facts, it’s based on facts!" (spitshine)
I looked to the sky, saw my body die – Gotta reappear up there. It’s where I want to be, in the university. I’ve found, I’ve found my own college. I’ve found, I’ve found a way to resolve this. I’m not inside you; you’re all around me. Is this what you needed to have to comfort you? I waited all this time above you. (jamais vu)
Feeding on your soul, you’ll search for a cure, you’ll want to be sure you don’t lose control. You’ll want to be sure that this is really you. (hung over on a tuesday)
I was looking down at you smiling up at me. For once I held you tight, but shadow hands grabbed at me. Your head was in the clouds, now those clouds are in your head. It’s when you needed me, so I listened to what you said. Look another year went by. They keep passing by. But damn I didn’t even die. To hold it so I’ve grown. I fought time but lost. (matrioska – the ornament)