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5 stars RED SAND comes here to release its 9th album by offering a variation on the sounds of PINK FLOYD, Gimour being one of the masters of SImon. This opus therefore radically changes the sounds of the MARILLION Fish era with which it had quite a few similarities. RED SAND has just released a neo prog wonder quite simply. "Crush The Seed pt1" attacks the album with an intro on acoustic guitar and a phrased voice, a bit in the vein of ARENA and its "Crying For Help", a quick interlude, a mouthful before the first slap from the album, "Were They Born Like That? »A gilmourian digest on a variation of" Shine On You Crazy Diamond "and" One Slip ", a title that reminds, reminds, hangs but also gives a free trip to the past-present, let me explain: l 'intro is well worked and gradually stands out from what the PINK FLOYD masters were able to create at the time; it also reminds me of the work done by RIVERSIDE to take 2 notes from "Wish You Were Here" to go elsewhere, a musical variation in fact as I like to say, a musical space between dinos memories and a recent updated sound; an airy, orgasmic title that cannot leave you indifferent, and in which time seems to stop. "Crush The Seed p2" then arises as ... interlude, again a little nursery rhyme that allows you to recover from the previous powerful title; declination on the minimalist piano supported by a synth and the aerial guitar, all wrapped at the ends by children's voices in schoolyard. "Human Claim" gives directly tracks with the recognizable bass and the belching pigs, here it will be "Animals" and "The Wall" as main dish: the 2nd piece of almost 10 minutes takes us to an air known by scraps, a few voiceovers reminiscent of a certain intro from SUPERTRAMP, PINK FLOYD strikes hard in our ears and recalls that RED SAND has nothing to do here with MARILLION that many said to be his clone; the end is in the prog diagram at 'donf' as the young people like to say, to listen in fact in replay. "Cruh The Seed p3" begins the second part of the album, a more symphonic piece even than "Crush p2" with the piano more nervous and airy also, with the same air, on a flight of guitar and a clear drums rhythmic with crescendo , the title that makes you dream, the title limits spleen by moment, piece of introspection surely then final acceleration, an orchestral title of any beauty, simple and effective. "Fight For Us" comes here as the first bonus, a title to the typical 70's organ, from the Hammond which plunges back to the time when we could only take the time, the synth of PROCOL HARUM, the ballroom music of Saturday evening where we came there to do his slow with his blonde, basic song, metronomic drums, posed voice more spoken than sung and this guitar, ah Simon sends notes here! Come to think of it, my girlfriend tells me that there is a little voice to David BOWIE and a happy internet user tells me that the instrumental parts make him think of CAMEL, in short, you see that it goes in many musical regions in made! Personally, a little PENDRAGON, surely RED SAND no doubt; a magnificent slow with a neo progressive nursery rhyme and a touch of romantic ballad. "Woman" and the title of the album! After two great songs, you have before you the symbiosis of the best that can be done currently in neo prog; a captivating intro, a crescendo rhythm, a first part based on a dreamlike and greasy guitar, latent atmospheres; a simple track, a melting pot of tunes from previous tracks with this intoxicating Hammond organ again; around 2'45 '' it goes into battle order in a very basic way, we could get bored for a while because it is agreed with choirs during the chorus, but it is well organized to give more effect solo stratospheric and dreamlike guitar, solo in two stages as for the title "Comfortably Numb". And then there is the other moment around 10 minutes, break, drawer with effect then this declination on the piano and bass on an agreed air English pop atmosphere of the 70's, this military drums and to finish piano and voice for a confidential final, a tone eyeing the intimate titles of "The Wall" with a last solo more posed, more electric and the voice of Steff which comes to close beautifully this epic moment. A long and very easy piece of access. "Dust And Hope" comes to finish the album with the second bonus which does not denote absolutely, which leaves on the same tone as "Fight For Us", a little more nervous however with more airy solo, which takes the repercussions of the voice metronomic; the redundant synth weft becomes mesmerizing to the ears with recessed keyboard air that hooks the ears; a very beautiful title at the end of the course which sounds a neo-prog renewal in this year 2020.

Report this review (#2350647)
Posted Monday, April 13, 2020 | Review Permalink
3 stars I am familiar with the first four albums (between 2004 and 2009) by this Canadian prog band, but then I lost Red Sand. So this is my first musical encounter with Red Sand after more than 10 years, the new album Crush The Seed is from 2020, the precursor FoRsAkEn was released in 2019. On this new effort I notice that Red Sand still make simply structured prog with the focus on colouring the music with wonderful work on guitar and keyboards. Singer Steff Dorval joined the band since the second album, he has a distinctive voice, very intense and with a strong melancholical undertone.

After the short and compelling opener Crush The Seed Part 1 (with a beautiful blend of twanging acoustic guitar, Mellotron choirs, moving electric guitar with howling runs and dramatic vocals) the next mid-long track sounds like an inspired tribute to Shine On You Crazy Diamond (reminding me of German prog legend Eloy on Silent Cries, Mighty Echoes), the guitar player turns into the second coming of David Gilmour!

The other mid-long track in the first part of this album entitled Human Claim has also obvious Pink Floyd hints (but more Eighties) featuring Fender electric piano, lush Hammond, harder-edged guitar and emotional vocals, the moods shift from dreamy to a catchy beat. The compositions Crush The Seed Part 2 (Mellotrons) and Crush The Seed part 3 (halfway an accellaration with heavy guitar) deliver wonderful interplay between piano and moving electric guitar, this is trademark Red Sand.

In the second part Red Sand sounds more like early Marillion, especially in the epic Woman (over 17 minutes), the highlight on this new album, and also the most elaborate composition. I starts with a mid-tempo featuring fiery guitar runs (like Rothery, with use of the tremolo arm), delicate Fender piano and melancholical vocals. Then the music turns into bombastic with majestic Mellotron choirs and powerful emotional vocals (this is how I remember early Red Sand). Next an explosive guitar solo with volume pedal and tremolo arm, in the vein of Rothery and Gilmour, later again joined by that awesome Mellotron choir sound, Red Sand at its full splendor, mighty Trons and howling guitar, wow! In the second part lots of flowing shifting moods and some surprising musical ideas. The conclusion delivers a compelling atmosphere with howling guitar, again this is the band at its full splendor. The bonus track Dust And Hope contains a slow rhythm, wonderfully coloured by moving guitar and a pleasant Hammond sound and topped with mellow vocals.

The Red Sand fans will not be disappointed by this new album, and I had another pleasant musical encounter with Red Sand, no more or less.

My rating: 3,5 stars.

This review was previously published on the website of Background Magazine, the oldest Dutch progrock source.

Report this review (#2435234)
Posted Wednesday, August 5, 2020 | Review Permalink

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