Rishloo
Feathergun


4.0
excellent

Review

by Fugue USER (58 Reviews)
December 7th, 2009 | 300 replies | 27,728 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rishloo’s third album Feathergun is a good, if not perfect, conclusion to what has been an outstanding year for music.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

After releasing their second full length Eidolon Rishloo became somewhat of an enigma. Playing multi-layered, melancholic progressive rock, it is difficult to see Rishloo become a mainstay in any mainstream commercial outlet and yet the inherent quality woven through the unsigned Seattle quartet is undeniable and points to an assured future prosperity. On their debut Terras Fames Rishloo unashamedly wore their influences on their sleeves and while the album itself was a success, Eidolon took the band one step further and away from directly copying their influences. While still heavily reliant on the styling’s of musicians such as Maynard James Keenan among others, Rishloo were less heavy handed in their approach and produced a much improved record. The band toured relentlessly, supporting acts such as Fair To Midland as well as self-promoting their own headlining shows to bring Eidolon to a larger audience, and in late 2008 the band re-entered the studio with plans to write and record a third studio album. After developing at such a steep incline, there was always going to be huge expectation within the bands fan base and while Feathergun doesn’t explicitly improve on Eidolon it sees Rishloo change their formula and create a sound of their own.

Immediate impressions of Feathergun are that it is an entirely different entity to 2007’s Eidolon. The dark, moody atmospheres that the band preferred two years ago have been carefully deconstructed and crafted into something completely different. Aside from the rigorously structured songs and unique vocals of Andrew Mailloux the overall sound of Feathergun couldn’t be further from the last time Rishloo graced our ears, and it is immediately apparent that the main focus of the bands progression has been to place yet more emphasis on the strong vocals and guitars that dominated for long periods throughout Eidolon. With this said, Scissorlips opens the album in much the same way that Shades closed Eidolon. The track is intrinsically memorable due predominantly to the trademark powerful vocals of Andrew Mailloux, that literally take full control of the song. Obviously intended to be a transitional song, Scissorlips is abundantly obvious in its similarity to much of Eidolon and this familiarity is also comforting.

The next few tracks follow Scissorlips’ lead, and it is not until we get to fourth track River Of Glass that Feathergun brings us away from the violent, sometimes spasmodic feel of Eidolon. The peaceful serenity that is revealed suits the band and it is from this that they produce some of their best material. The dreamlike River Of Glass shows early promise after the less-than-impressive tracks preceding it. Again the vocals take centre-stage with Mailloux’s various pitch changes only adding to the surreal ambience that surrounds them. Following River Of Glass we get another disappointingly mediocre track in the form of Keyhole In The Sky before the albums centrepiece, the shamelessly extravagant and phenomenally gorgeous duo of Downhill and Feathergun In The Garden Of The Sun. For the first time in Feathergun the emphasis shifts from Mailloux’s vocals to the soaring intricacies of David Gillet’s guitar. On top of this, these two tracks also see the band stretch themselves as artists, with Downhill displaying various guitar techniques and instrumental interludes including breathtaking solo’s on both the piano and the guitar. Feathergun... continues this musical growth and displays perhaps the bands most mature instrumentation yet. Unpredictably all four members of the band gel in harmony and unlike the majority no attribute of the bands make-up dominates any other.

Of course, Feathergun is far from a perfect record, and amongst some of the bands best songs are some devastatingly mediocre cuts. On top of this the guitar-vocal prominence throughout the record becomes laborious throughout some of the inferior tracks. While similar to both the band’s previous efforts in terms of importance, Andrew Mailloux’s vocals have improved no further since Eidolon and although he is undoubtedly a great vocalist he still lacks the conviction to drag the album to its climax. Similarly Gillet’s guitar proficiency is an exceedingly useful weapon in the bands armoury, but the two together overwhelm the timid rhythm section, and it would be nice to see more input from the other two band members. While primarily it is difficult to make out these deficits, over time the deficiencies of Feathergun become more prominent. Subtle nuances turn into occasional blips while feelings of overawe turn decidedly less impressive. Particularly on the first half of the record, the fluid continuity of individual tracks becomes less apparent, and the rougher transitions disengage the listener. Turning Sheep To Goats is perhaps the best example of a track succumbing to mediocrity; the highly-charged, aggressive musicianship seems a fresh take on the band’s sound until it becomes evident that like Scissorlips before it, the track seems to needlessly cling to the last remaining remnants of Eidolon.

In spite of this, Feathergun is an excellent release from the Seattle boys. Amidst feelings of disappointment, and the soft shattering of sky high expectations, it is all too easy to forget that Rishloo are an independent self-promoted band with virtually no mainstream appeal. The musical themes that the band have explored throughout Feathergun show that they are far from exhausted in the ideas department and while some of the tracks cling to the past a little too much, the majority of the album points towards a glowing future for the band. With Feathergun Rishloo have finally found their niche in an ever expanding genre and have created some of the best tracks of 2009. From the ambient solitude of River Of Glass to the aching beauty of Katsishuka each track offers something unique to the album and with crystal clear production completing the puzzle it would not be surprising to see this creep onto many an end-of-year list.

Recommended Tracks
River Of Glass
Downhill
Feathergun In The Garden Of The Sun
Katsushika

Overall 4.0 Excellent



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user ratings (244)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
    "Lost out here adrift in lights, its wonderous. Weightless in clouds of colors the world w...

    YoYoMancuso (4)
    Feathergun is a sign that Rishloo was maturing and nearing their peak. I personally believ...

    Maniac (4.5)
    With Feathergun, Rishloo have moved past their previously darker material to create a colo...

    Dunpeal (4)
    In their most consistent and coherent effort to date, Rishloo once again bring the onslaug...

  • Alex C. Soothsayer (3)
    Tool copycats no longer: This is Rishloo being Rishloo, but is that a good thing?...

    DDconjoined (4)
    You stopped the whole fucking world didn't you...

    Sach360 (5)
    Rishloo have created an album worth of classic status, it is beautifully layered and compl...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Fugue
December 7th 2009



7352 Comments


I'm sure this needs some editing but for the moment I am shattered and heading off to bed, if anyone notices anything wrong please leave a comment. Hopefully I have managed to create a good review here, but again if you disagree/dislike anything here please tell me.

Also I know I didn't mention my favorite track (Katsushika) much but it doesn't really fit into the review much. Still think it would be a better ending than Weevil Bride though.

BallsToTheWall
December 7th 2009



44164 Comments


depressive progressive rock. Wat.

So is this like Abigail's Ghost and Riverside?

PuddlesPuddles
December 7th 2009



4767 Comments


Not from what I heard...

It's pretty good

Powerban
December 7th 2009



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice use of the word 'spasmodic' lol. Good review also.

After carefully listening to the drummer through the whole album it's safe to say he's pretty good at what he does. I just feel there is something missing. I don't know what kinda bass drum he's using but maybe it could be more prominent with a few adjustments.

Just mentioning it again, The band need to concentrate on the lower end and rythym. Like the bass line carrying To Tame The Temporal Shrew midway through the song as an example.

I feel as if I'm only saying bad things about this album though, I think it's from a bit of disapointment. This album is still in my top 10 of the year I think, So it's not like it's bad at all.

Powerban
December 7th 2009



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Balls This band is more like APC, Dredg, Fair To Midland etc. They have a great vocalist. Recommend Eidolon if you want to get into them.

Yazz_Flute
December 7th 2009



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah these guys remind me of Fair to Midland except more progressive. Eidolon is much better.

Digging: Cormorant - Dwellings

BallsToTheWall
December 7th 2009



44164 Comments


Thanks. I'm glad it's not like Porcupine Tree, I hate them but love APC, FTM and especially Dredg. Will check out.

Prophet178
December 7th 2009



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

It seems like we have almost the same view on the album, just a difference in opinion on how good the album actually is.

BallsToTheWall
December 7th 2009



44164 Comments


Is there a girl in this band I cant tell.

Powerban
December 7th 2009



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol. Nope.

BallsToTheWall
December 7th 2009



44164 Comments


Really? No........ in that 4 person box, the top left is definitely a chick.

Prophet178
December 7th 2009



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thats the singer, its a guy.

Powerban
December 7th 2009



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm taking it that you're going by their myspace pic. He does look a bit girly in that pic lol. He's the lead singer.

Edit: Beaten by Prophet =/

BallsToTheWall
December 7th 2009



44164 Comments


He should cut his hair so a just released convict won't get the wrong impression.

Unofrtunately, this band doesn't really do it for me. Some of his vocals are really....odd.

Yazz_Flute
December 7th 2009



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Which songs did you listen to?

BallsToTheWall
December 7th 2009



44164 Comments


Whatevers on myspace.

Relinquished
December 7th 2009



24468 Comments


Yeah I didn't like this too much...

jrowa001
December 8th 2009



8750 Comments


ive heard some songs off of Eidolon and thought they were ok. may chack this out sometime

Fugue
December 8th 2009



7352 Comments


Thanks for the views guys.

depressive progressive rock. Wat.


Yeah its been pretty much established that I used the wrong word there, its been changed. Thanks for the point out.

Powerban
December 8th 2009



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I've never found Rishloo depressive. I don't even know if I could call them melancholic as a whole really, but it doesn't really matter when it's hard to explain their sound without using something like 'progressive art-rock' which brings in a whole heap of pretentious thoughts.

So in other words, Melancholic will do for me. =D



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