Holy Sweet Mother of Jesus. This new wave of post-metal bands have really got something going on. This band is the group project of some of the forerunners of the movement with members from Isis, Neurosis, Angel Hair and others. The most similar band to Red Sparrowes would have to be Pelican, who they toured with. Like Pelican this has sweeping melodies, shifting riffs and is instrumental (for the most part, occasionally vocals are used as instruments but are not clearly audible so I guess that still counts as instrumental).
I first heard of Red Sparrowes while cruising Metal-Archives and looking at Isis. I saw that one of their guitarists was in another band, Red Sparrowes but it was not a band on Metal-Archives. That is stupid because this is metal... sort of. Like Pelican, it rides the line. This is not chugging power chord metal. this is far more thoughtful. It is very much like post-rock except usually faster, and heavier. That isn't to say this is fast, because it is still fairly slow but post-rock has a tendency to be very slow. This album also has the post-rock trait of long songs. There are no 20 minute epics but The Sixth Extinction Crept Up Slowly, Like The SUnlight Through the Shutters, As We Looked Back in Regret clocks in at 19:32 (the actual music is the first 12 minutes, then there are 4 minutes of silence and then a noise based soundscape) . The album is one hour long which is a very good length for this. Nothing feels like it drags and nothing feels like it's over too soon (at least, not in the bad way that can happen).
The use of effects and pedal steel add a really interesting element to the entire sound of this band. It adds to the atmosphere created by the melodies and enhances the soundscapes that are created. Now that I've said that, I have to mention that this is not an album of songs, but soundscapes. Not that there are huge interludes of ambience and weirdness (though there are a few moments) but the music itself paints a picture as the dynamics shift.
I really can't do a track by track for two reasons, one is that it's not my style and it makes for ugly bad reviews, the other is that there is too much to this for me to to each song justice. It needs to suffice to say that any track you pick from this album is worth listening to. The trouble is, you may have a hard time finding any tracks. It is maybe not as rare as some things out there, but it's not as easy to find as Isis or Neurosis or Pelican. It is however, worth your time to look for and find it.
It's basically what I figure has come as a response to metal and post-rock and where the two would lead if they were to have a love-child. It's a new genre but because the genre names that already exist are really bad and don't always fit, this is what I think should be the name. Therefor I whore it.This Message Edited On 08.10.05
This is no joke I just didn't find this review very helpful. It didn't convey what the songs sound like at all, at least in my opinion. Plus I think it's a fair statement to say that I'm sick of hearing genre's with post in them, it just doesn't mean anything to me and I can't stand people who need to fit every album into a perfectly defined genre.
If it doesn't mean anything to you, get educated. I feel I did a pretty good job describing the sound.
[quote=me]Like Pelican this has sweeping melodies, shifting riffs and is instrumental [/quote]
[quote=me]This is not chugging power chord metal. this is far more thoughtful. It is very much like post-rock except usually faster, and heavier. That isn't to say this is fast, because it is still fairly slow but post-rock has a tendency to be very slow.[/quote]
how does that not describe the sound?
Plus, your one review is a track by track, which, the top reviewers on the site have collectively decided are not a good representation of an album.This Message Edited On 08.10.05
Anyway, nice job. I love this album. It's one of my favorites, if not my favorite, release of this year. Full of plenty of sweeping, flying melodies and really interesting textural effects from the keyboards and the pedal steel. They reall have an interesting and unique sound.
I wouldn't say they're metal, though. Like you said, they're teetering on the edge between the Post Rock and Metal, but I'd still say they're in the rock category overall. Some really heavy moments, but the heaviness is less crushing and more textural, sonic heaviness than, say, a heavily distorted guitar.
Also, I like the "post-" genres...I don't know why anyone would complain about them. Post Rock has become my second favorite genre that I listen to.
Oh, and you spelled their name wrong. It's Sparowes, with only one 'r'.
I saw Pelican on that same tour a few days ago, but it was just a few days before Red Sparowes joined up with them. Really dissapointing, although Pelican owned. I would have loved to see two of my favorite bands together.
This Message Edited On 08.12.05