Review Summary: "Lost out here adrift in lights, its wonderous. Weightless in clouds of colors the world will never see"
After releasing a masterful sophomore effort, Rishloo managed to top themselves in almost every way on Feathergun. Eidolon is already an incredibly overlooked progressive rock album as it is, but the songwriting was all over the place and the production still wasn't perfect. When it comes to production, the band finally nailed it on Feathergun and the songwriting has improved immensely. One actually gets the sense that the songs are about something rather than just poetic nonsense. Feathergun is the band's swan song and they surely went out with a bang.
The album kicks off with an eerie sound that they used on a computer software and then Scissorlips begins. Andrews compelling vocals about human nature come in along with David's much improved guitar playing. What you will notice right from the start is that everyone is involved equally this time around with Sean's bass and Jesse's drums finally getting some of the spotlight. Andrew delivers the performance of his career on Scissorlips and he hits notes that I didn't even know existed when the song transitions into it's second part. Another thing you will notice is that some of the songs are kind of two songs in one. Downhill begins with a kind of mellow jazzy guitar riff with things being a lot less ambient in the first half and then grows into something very chilling in its second half. In Downhill, David is the true standout as he delivers an exceptional guitar solo near the end. Key Hole In The Sky is the slowest song and it is also the weakest of the album. It's a lovely song, but it never really climaxes into something amazing and it transitions into another "second song" that feels very out of place and awkward.
When it comes to songwriting, the band was never really bad at it. However, their songwriting on this record has improved immensely. Turning Sheep Into Goats is a very soothing song with very metaphorical lyrics, but has the song title implies, it turns into something very different as it becomes extremely angsty with Andrew bluntly stating, "You got just what you wanted didn't you" Stopped the whole ***in' world didn't you"" The screamed vocals "are you happy now" sends chills down my spine. The same can be said for the epic introduction to River Of Glass
The bands performance as a whole on Feathergun is quite impressive as it has always been. Every band member has grown from their less than perfect debut. The band finally developed a sound of their own. Andrew is an incredibly talented vocalist as always and musically the production has gotten exceptionally better. The drums have always been a problem in the past, but that is no longer. The drums are not too loud and not too soft and just right. Jesse delivers some amazing performances on Katsushika and Systematomatic. Much like fellow progressive band Tool, the bass plays a huge role in Rishloo and Sean is one hell of a bassist. Usually the guitar and bass work hand in hand, but Sean plays very differently on Feathergun and it is a welcome change of pace. However, not everything on the album is perfect.
The way Andrew delivers the line "goodbye" in the beginning of Downhill is not good and the outro to Key Hole In The Sky doesn't really have any place on the entire record. Katsushika is also a better choice for a closer because Weevil Bridge is very underwhelming considering it ends with a lackluster hidden track. Katsushika ends in the most epic way imaginable. All gripes aside, Rishloo finally released an album that has a sound of its own. Any fans of progressive music must pick this up because there is nothing quite like it. Rishloo will surely be missed.