Dreadnaught - [D->0] (Amphead)

Mixing their roots with a modern twist, Dreadnaught deliver their newest effort in 2009's [D->0].

If you have been following Australian metal, chances are you may have heard of Dreadnaught.  Formed in 1994, the band have had a number of releases, three studio albums and three EPs in the lead-up to their latest release [D->0] (aka Self Titled) (Amphead).

Setting the pace with the groove laden Tattooed Tears, Dreadnaught announce they are back and are here to give the younger bands a run for their money. This track is a solid chunk of straight ahead riffage. It definately gets your foot tapping and your head banging.

There are some good tracks on this album, such as the Tool-like More Than One Way, wah pedal textured The Push, and Buried, which is reminiscent of the current metal scene with bands like Lamb Of God & Shadows Fall. The track Agony / Ecstasy reminds me a bit of Motley Crue's Kickstart My Heart with it's motoring-like beat and there is definately some Iron Maiden influence in the track 10 X The Pain.

Twist The Knife also has some killer slide guitar work that would be at home on a Rose Tattoo album. The Reflections I, II & III interludes are a nice touch in between songs, calming things down a bit before returning back to the metal insanity.

From a musical performance perspective, Dreadnaught deliver a consistant performance. Guitarists Richie Poate and Damien Alcock crunch out some heavy riffs, intricate harmony lines and some well thought-out leadwork, and the rhythm section sounds as tight as it has ever been, especially with the addition of talented drummer Matt Racovalis (ex Alarum & The Bezerker) holding it down with long time bassist Andy McDougall.

Vocalist Greg Trull vocally sounds like a mixture of Kreator's Mille Petrozza with his extreme agression and The Haunted's Peter Dolving with a bit of melody.

Despite the above, one thing I found with this album was that the bass and drums are a little bit dominant in the mix. Especially when there is some lead work, the guitars seem to drop out slightly. Also, the vocals are a little bit one-sided, a bit more clean vocal work like in More Than One Way would definitely give the heavier songs a bit more texture without abandoning the intensity and the edge.

Dreadnaught announced that [D->0] was a return to their roots. Well, they are definitely very close to that: [D->0] is definately a step in the right direction. These songs will translate well live and can sit next to any of Dreadnaught's previous material.  [D->0] is worth giving 40 minutes of your time to listen and rock out to.

Dreadnaught's [D->0] is out now on Amphead.