to truely appreciate this album, you must understand everything about it. after reading this, hopefully you will understand why this isn’t just a regular ol’ album.
first of all, let’s discuss the themes of the album. The main theme is sleep paralysis, which is a natural bodily function which prevents us from hurting ourselves or others in our sleep. however, when it follows us into our waking moments, it becomes a disorder. Sleep paralysis, or more properly, sleep paralysis with hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations have been singled out as a particularly likely source of beliefs concerning not only alien abductions, but all manner of beliefs in alternative realities and otherworldly creatures. Sleep paralysis is a condition in which someone, most often lying in a supine position, about to drop off to sleep, or just upon waking from sleep realizes that s/he is unable to move, speak, or cry out. This may last a few seconds or several moments, occasionally longer. People frequently report feeling a ‘presence’ that is often described as malevolent, threatening, or evil. An intense sense of dread and terror is very common. The presence is likely to be vaguely felt or sensed just out of sight but thought to be watching or monitoring, often with intense interest, sometimes standing by, or sitting on, the bed. On some occasions the presence may attack, strangling and exerting crushing pressure on the chest. People also report auditory, visual, proprioceptive, and tactile hallucinations, as well as floating sensations and out-of-body experiences.
i’m too lazy to talk about the other themes (which aren’t as prominent as the above theme) so i will move onto the painting. according to the rules and regulations of Amazon.com, i cannot post a URL. so right now, go to a search engine and type in “Dream Caused By The Flight Of A Bee Around A Pomegranate One Second Before Awakening”. That is the painting the entire album of El Cielo is based upon. If you know anything about Salvador Dali, you know that many of his paintings were based upon subconcioius and dreamstate ideas. He often described his paintings as “hand painted dream photographs.” this painting is mostly based on sleep paralysis, and that what happends to a dreamer in reality affects his dreams. i highly recommend reading up about this painting more before listening to El Cielo.
Now to tie all of above into the album. The first track of the album is called “dcbtfoabaaposba” which stands for “Dream Caused By The Flight Of A Bee Around A Pomegranate One Second Before Awakening”. The main sound you hear is Drew, the bass player, painting on a canvas.
Tracks 2-9 contain small references to sleep paralysis, which i could talk about, but this review is already too long.
Track 10 is called “scissor lock” and is the only song that is completely and blantently about sleep paralysis. It contains many of the sounds that are heard during sleep paralysis, and the lyrics specificly talk about stuff like “body’s asleep and our mind is awake.”
Track 16 is called “the canyon behind her.” The intro to this song has a woman speaking Japanese. Translated, she says “This album was inspired by a painting titled: “Dream Caused By The Flight Of A Bee Around A Pomegranate One Second Before Awakening”. It is recommend that you view this painting as you listen to ‘El Cielo’. It is as if one stimulus awakens other senses. In other words, it’s about “drawing music.”
So why do you care about all of that? Hopefully, that gives you a small glimps of the kind of how dredg creates art in the form of modern rock. I highly suggest you read a full blown analysis of this album (i have read several and they have increased my appreciation of the band completely).