Dresda are a 5-piece post-rock band out of Genoa, Italy who have just released ‘Diluvio‘, their second full length album and first release since their Soundtrack EP in 2010. I have been overjoyed by the amount of excellent material coming from Italy especially in the post-rock realm with releases from the likes of Magnetoscop. and Australasia. Actually, it seems like if you’re a post-rock fan, Europe is the place to be. While that region of world gets to enjoy large post-rock festivals and tours, the same can’t be said for most of America. Anyways let’s get back to the point and I’ll just cut to the chase, ‘Diluvio‘ is 40 minutes of solid post-rock that is captivating and emotional.
The album opens with “Piccoli Ricordi” (Small Memories) and starts off with a somber clean guitar in front of the sounds of children laughing and playing on a school yard. The guitar work is inviting and a tad bit haunting. Spiraling crescendo guitars try to rise through the mix as the cymbals insistently begin tapping. Later on in the track the spiraling guitars finally rise to life as distortion slowly climbs into the mix as well culminating in a strong finish to the track. “Le strade all’alba” (The Streets at Dawn) continues to build upon the foundation of the children playing in the background and starts off with a much more relaxed ambient feel. Electronica beats give the opening a strong chillwave or electro ambient feel as guitars begin to rev up in the background. The electronic beats stop about 5 minutes into the track as guitar intensity increases and real drumming enters the fray. Similar to the first track the final two minutes or so of this song are a big wall of sound post-rock finish.
“Che tu sia per me il coltello” is next and standing tall at over 10 minutes long is easily the best song on the album. It’s a brooding track that starts off slowly from humble ambient beginnings. The slow-pacing of the drums and the minimal guitar work makes the sound stage feel spacious. There is no clever mixing to be found here as sound simply engulfs your ears. Guitars swirl around endlessly slowly pumping more and more distortion into the track as cymbals crash with precision and purpose. Clean and distortion guitar layers play a relaxing melody as the song continues. After nearly 8 minutes the drums pick up the pace as the well textured song makes its final push. I’m noticing a trend.
I wish I could say that I enjoy “Fili Spezzati” (Broken Threads) but I just feel like it misses the mark. While the drum solo intro is awesome and is something that the post-rock genre is sorely lacking, the samples of agonizing screaming that takes place in this track just completely ruins the albums vibe for me. Even though it only lasts nearly 20 seconds, it still completely kills the mood and the song for me. The album wraps up with the “Diluvio” (Flood) which is a largely piano dominant track that also features violin work. It’s a real nice change of pace from the rest of the album and gives the band’s sound a bit of depth. The guitar work in this track compliments the piano well and the whole track feels like a fitting retrospective on the album. In typical Dresda style, the track makes somewhat a strong push in intensity towards the end before ending in high-pitched guitar feedback.
Overall I think that if you familiarize yourself with their early work you can easily see that the band’s new material is a lot more focused. The deeply layered textures are full of emotion, each instrument has a purpose for its placement and the whole album feels full of life. Despite my displeasure with track four, I have really enjoyed listening to this album in preparation for this review. All in all another solid release out of Italy that shouldn’t be ignored. 11-18-12
Pay what you want on bandcamp: http://dresda.bandcamp.com/album/diluvio