DREADNOUGHT is a Melodic Black Metal band from Luxembourg, formed in 2006 by Lynx (guitar) and Panzerfaust (drums). The idea was to combine Melodic Black Metal and the power of Thrash Metal. As always with bands, it took a little while to find a good line-up, but once that was done, work could begin involving recordings and such. That first release is called “Demon”, a demo CD that came out on the 16th June 2012. As the band is not signed, they did it all themselves and you can hear this.
The album contains seven tracks, totalling a playtime of little over 30 minutes. It begins with “Pastor”. An acoustic intro precedes the Doomy Black Metal that advances at an easy-going pace. You might think it’s building towards a violent attack, but no, it’s the general pace of the song. The vocals are harsh and shriek-ish. However, the music does get more active in the chorus, and faster halfway (instrumental part). The tempo then falls back while the instrumentalism remains, heading back towards the chorus and so the end of the song. Already in this song you can here it’s indeed a demo, due to the pure and honest sound. Songwise it’s quite alright.
“Revenge” takes a direct start. Black Metal indeed, no mistaking here. The melodic aspect is well present and again the shrieky vocals are here. Full-on power and attack is set for the chorus. There are a few details in the playing that make it clear once more this is the work of humans. This song also has a guitar solo, but it’s backed by a Polka beat, if you know what I mean. That detail aside, I did find this twist rather awkward, not really fitting. The violent attack of before returns, but as this song is barely 2 minutes long, the ending is there before you realize it. Or rather, the track ends so sudden it’s like someone pulled the plug, hence not having the impression of a proper song, but more of an excerpt.
The third song, “Unbreakable”, shows no sign of Black Metal at all in its beginnings, as this is more of a Hard Rock / Heavy Metal composition. However, it does groove nicely. The fast outbreak afterwards is still not of the Black Metal kind, that’s for the verses. With the Polka beat. But they do sound aggressive and furious. The chorus can be described as, for example, Black ‘n’ Roll, as the Hard Rock influences cannot be denied. What I did not understand, musically then, is the instrumental part that is played to break the song in two. It’s a little Jazzy on one hand, it’s got solos, it rocks, but it sounds so different from what preceded and what succeeds (i.e. Black Metal). Sure, there’s no law that says what you should or shouldn’t do when writing songs, but I found that middle section hard to combine with the rest of the song. But that’s my only complaint about this song.
There is one song in Luxembourgian: “Hänk Dech Op”. This also has an acoustic intro, with drum guidance and you can hear via this instrument it’s a demo recording. Metallic building follows and makes the transition into powerful Heavy Metal… paving the way for furious Black Metal, in vein of, for example, KAMPFAR. The melodic instrumental piece leading towards the chorus reminded me, in style, of MANOWAR, only DREADNOUGHT gave it a Black Metal touch. “Drinking You All Down” has a building intro, sounding as if another Hard Rock/Heavy Metal track is coming up. It does rock and the verses pound onwards with a Blackened sound. Before the chorus, there’s an instrumental piece that, according to my ears, reminded me a bit of ICED EARTH in terms of riffing. The solo moment is backed by a furious rhythm section. After this it’s time for another verse round, and furious Black Metal. This is one song that nicely shows the guys’ enthusiasm. 😉
“Eternity” begins with hellish Black Metal riffing, building tension and going into midtempo rocking. The Polka beat comes out in the Black Metal chorus. Halfway the song there’s an instrumental piece, slow and headbang-friendly. After that it’s back to rolling Black Metal. Another good track, like the others. All ends with the title track, “Demon”. This is also the longest track (+/- 8 minutes) on this debut album and fully instrumental. It begins with an acoustic piece by the guitar and bass, followed by building Metal bursts. Doom(y) Metal sets in with a ticking clock in the back, probably referring to the cover art. When the music becomes more Black Metal, the clock is replaced by a church bell. Gradually the music grows in fury and speed. When heading for the last portions of the song, the music again slows down. This track needs a few listens to grasp it all. All in all, not bad.
My knowledge of the Luxembourgian scene is small: LE GRAND GUIGNOL, ABSTRACT RAPTURE, KRATON, … and now DREADNOUGHT, thanks to guitarist Dr. Doom. For those interested in hearing a small selection of what this country has to offer, check out episode 256 of the Metal Cast at this location. About DREADNOUGHT: Black Metal remains an acquired taste somehow. Their original idea doesn’t really come out here on “Demon” Sure, the Black Metal influence is present, that’s certain. Thrash? Not much, but the guys didn’t want Thrash itself, but the power of Thrash and in that aspect I think they succeeded, although Black Metal as well can be powerful. For a first release, DREADNOUGHT did a pretty good job in keeping things varied and not sticking to Black Metal only (see the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal mentions). It’s a demo, indeed, but I like how pure and honest this sounds. The playing itself could use some tweaking and perfecting, but these Luxembourgians are on a right path and it can only get better from here.
- Hänk Dech Op
- Drinking You All Down
Mike “Bördi” Bertemes – vocals
Joël “Dr. Doom” Reiter – guitar
Dan “Lynx” Seil – guitar
Yves “Yvil” Reiter – bass
Eiko “Panzerfaust” Streiz – drums