Dredg is one of those rare bands who truly cannot be categorized. Gavin Hayes' vocals cascade like a waterfall over a sea of scratching Latin rhythms, dulcimers, guitars in odd time signatures, and prog rock-inspired drums. Hayes shares his penchant for Bulgarian chants in "Triangle" and "Same Ol' Road." "Whoa Is Me" could provide the soundtrack to all things haunted. Whether it's a piano and strings or Cure-influenced (specifically the Cure's "Fascination Street") guitars, instruments fill the time between songs on El Cielo. They offer a respite from the monotony and the slow-fast-slow style of songwriting. In an odd moment at the end of "Whoa Is Me," a soft-spoken public radio DJ speaks of a jazz number from 1944. The full-throttle rocker "It Only Took a Day" is one of the highlights. El Cielo is unlikely to become a hit on commercial radio, but perhaps Dredg could find their niche on college stations.
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AllMusic Review by Christina Fuoco