2. Drunk Slide
4. Stamp Of Origin - Pessimistic
6. Gathering Pebbles
8. Stamp Of Origin - Ocean Meets Bay
10. R U O K
11. I Don´t Know
12. Mourning This Morning
13. Stamp Of Origin - Take A Look Around
14. Long Days And Vague Clues
15. Cartoon Showroom
17. Down To The Cellar
18. Stamp Of Origin - Horizon
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Dredg fans have been waiting four years since the band's previous record, Catch Without Arms, and more than just fans can tell you that's a long time to wait for an album. What separates the Dredg fans from people who are just waiting for another El Cielo is that the fans can appreciate whatever Dredg manages to surprise us with each time around, and dredg are becoming geniuses at creating surprises. If you're one of those people who don't like surprises, yet you're still somehow anticipating this album, then you should maybe refrain from reading the entirety of this review and keep your witty criticisms to yourself. Dredg clearly haven't written this album for you. Get over it.
The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion - that's quite an album title. Maybe a bit pretentious, perhaps, but once you listen to the record the music clearly does not come across as such. One will gather immediately that the band has once again 'changed' as the overall feeling and atmosphere of this record is much different than both that of the dark and dreamy El Cielo and the poppy, more upbeat Catch Without Arms. On Pariah the band somehow seemingly mixes all of these sounds into one record, while even gathering up the memories of Leitmotif, and also showcasing some completely new sounds one never would imagine hearing from Dredg.
Here is one good example of Dredg doing something completely different: "Lightswitch". The song opens with an organ, transitions into a western influenced verse, then into a melancholy pre-chorus, and finally climaxes with a chorus of triumphant violins and powerful vocals from vocalist Gavin Hayes. Each section of this song has a completely different sound, yet somehow it manages to work perfectly as a complete package. The track is as simplistic as it is complex and confusing, all at the same time, and it's completely fantastic.
Another album highlight is "Gathering Pebbles". This is another track that completely changes, this time drastically, from beginning to end, transforming into a sexy, yet somber pop song from what is easily the heaviest riff Dredg have yet put to tape. The spectrum that this band has now covered is beyond what most bands would have the guts to even think of exploring. This particular song is an easy example of their ability to take risks, but it is not the only one, proving that The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion is by far the band's most diverse record yet.
Pariah also expresses a theme, as Dredg albums usually do. This time around the lyrics are just as diverse as the music itself, but the overall message is supposed to be delivered to the 7th billion person born (note that the album cover is designed like a package or letter). The topic and idea of religion seems to be brought up numerous times throughout the majority of the record, with songs like "Pariah", "Information", "Quotes" and "I Don't Know" being some defining examples. What is curious about this topic is the band's approach to their lyrics. Rather then being 'think for yourself' type of advice, it seems to come off a bit more angry, and almost offensive, though one would doubt that to be the original intention.
In all, The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion is 60 minutes of Dredg at their best, most diverse, and most enjoyable. With 18 tracks there's so much to hear, and no matter what mood a song portrays, there's no doubt it's a fantastic track. The full production is amazing to hear with all of the unique uses of percussion and instrumentation, and the songs are written without predictability. Every member in the band really does seem to go all out on this album. You can hear the amount of effort all four members have put into each track. Even the most simplistic of songs has layers and layers of ear candy of brilliant quality. I think it is safe to say that if Dredg were to take four years to write another album, long time fans, and even cranky, regression-worshipping music fans will have an easier time holding themselves over with The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion than they did with Catch Without Arms.