1998, Music

Leitmotif (1998) by dredg

Apparently these guys were Nu Metal once upon a time. You can sometimes hear that in the vocals – without actually knowing anything about Linkin Park, I’d say I hear a similarity in the way this guy sings – but on the whole the idea that this was a Nu Metal band on their EPs is shocking giving the ambition and range here.

But the idea that this is somehow Prog Rock is also confusing, as it’s not particularly ambitious in the way that prog normally is.

Instead, this album exists in a really weird and unique space: clearly influenced by alternative metal bands (and, yes, Nu Metal) but also clearly full of ambition to make something that wasn’t limited to what they were hearing on the radio, I’ve never really heard anything exactly like it. At some basic level, they’re like Tool only they are influenced by entirely different bands than Tool was and they’re even more ambitious than Tool ever was.

I’m not sure if the entire thing succeeds and they often across as maybe being a little too proud of what they think they know. (Example: I don’t think “Movement II” is actually a minuet, you guys.) Much like som of the music that inspires them, there is sometimes a little too much reliance on weird segments between tracks, that sound more like filler in the 1990s than they would have in the 1960s or 1970s.

But I’d still rather listen to rock bands with ambition than who are content being part of a particular movement, and these guys have ambition in spades.


  1. “易” (Symbol Song) 4:23
  2. “Movement I: @45°N, 180°W” 1:02
  3. “Lechium” 6:24
  4. “Movement II: Crosswind Minuet” 1:32
  5. “Traversing Through the Arctic Cold We Search for the Spirit of Yuta” (+ intermission) 6:30
  6. “Movement III: Lyndon” 3:08
  7. “Penguins in the Desert” 4:13
  8. “Movement IV: RR” 2:59
  9. “Yatahaze” 3:44
  10. “Movement V: 90 Hour Sleep” (+ hidden track) 20:20
  • Gavin Hayes – vocals, slide guitar, guitar
  • Drew Roulette – bass, synthesizer
  • Mark Engles – guitar, backing vocals
  • Dino Campanella – drums, piano, organ


  1. Philip Miller says:

    I’ll check this out, I was a big fan of Catch Without Arms

  2. I’ll have to check that one out too. There’s a Queensryche cameo on that one!

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