After more than twenty years as a band you’d hope to be still doing things right. Dreadnaught have no such worries.
On their fourth full-length release, the Melbourne five piece dig deep into their arsenal and unload with every piece of firepower they have at their disposal. Opener ‘Pure Lunacy’ hearkens back to the very first track of their still awesome debut, a sludgy long slow-burn that suddenly unleashes a controlled, venom-spitting rage and Dreadnaught is just as potent as they have always been – perhaps even more so. Each track bristles with scintillating guitar melodies flashing across dark, growling riffs, weaving among the powerful roar of Greg Trull’s vocals. In ‘Welcome to Oblivion’ tensions pile onto one another, suddenly breaking for gentle acoustics, a twisty guitar melody and a deceptively quiet vocal reading that builds toward an explosion reminiscent of ‘Collapse’ from the previous issue. The acoustics come back throughout the brooding ‘Set Fire to the Plan’; both ‘Aim to Destroy’ and ‘Clenched Fist’ are fired-up stompers that expose the 80s thrash and hardcore that lie at Dreadnaught’s roots, but neither are straight-forward, each taking their own progressive wanderings before reverting to their original path and Richie Poate delivers a towering solo in the second half of the former.
The album reaches its pinnacle with the final cut, the meandering progressive epic ‘Warning Signs’ that swirls from tranquility to a climax of guitar harmonies and descending riffs, through another winding Poate solo and into a gentle extended close out.
Caught the Vultures Sleeping has all the elements that Dreadnaught has utilised in their twenty-plus years together, put together perfectly. In a catalogue crowded with excellence, this is probably the best thing they have done so far.
1. Pure Lunacy
2. The Hated
3. Welcome to Oblivion
4. Set Fire to the Plan
5. Caught the Vultures Sleeping
6. Aim to Destroy
7. Clenched Fist
8. Warning Signs