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The Red Masque - Death of the Red Masque CD (album) cover


The Red Masque



3.62 | 5 ratings

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3 stars The Red Masque is a US outfit based in Philadelphia and formed in early 2001 under the force of bassist Brandon Lord Ross and female singer Lynette Shelley.Immediately the band had a good impact performing at the Prelude of the 2001 NEARFest and releasing a self-produced CD-R under the title ''Death of the Red Masque'' the same year, featuring also Nathan-Andrew Dewin on keyboards and harp, Kevin Kelly on drums and Steven Blumberg on guitars.

The opening 11-min. Tidal kicks off with some nightmare music.Bass, guitars and piano dissonances are mixed with dark chant-like vocals before the track finally takes some shape.Still the bass riffs are complex, the guitar playing pretty disharmonic and the drums have a marching sound all the way, while Shelley's voice has a very haunting operatic color.Obscure and really hard to get into Avant/RIO-esque prog.''Ended Ways'' clocks at 10 minutes and the first half is dedicated to dark, cinematic and abstract Avant soundscapes based on a doomy atmosphere.The second half though holds some more interest, having a slight KING CRIMSON vibe under a steady groove with distorted guitars and synths on the background till the final notes.The centerpiece of this short release though is the 13-min. '' A Moon Falls''.Another atmospheric intro with soft electric guitars will lead to some great series of symphonic organ-based sections with some pretty nice guitars surrounding and a dynamic rhythm section.The outro holds also some great melody coming out of Blumberg's guitar chords with a light /GENESISYES influence and Shelley eventually adding some sensitivity in her voice.

This is an album getting from full dissonant pieces of music to quite well-structured arrangements as it unfolds,the later being of more interest to my ears.The originality of the sound makes me eagerly keep an eye on The Red Masque and I really wonder how a unique experience it would be to follow this band on a live show.Warmly recommended, even more if you are into obscure dark Avant-Prog.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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