Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Red Sparowes

Post Rock/Math rock

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Red Sparowes At the Soundless Dawn album cover
3.82 | 100 ratings | 16 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Alone and Unaware, the Landscape Was Transformed in Front of Our Eyes (8:28)
2. Buildings Began to Stretch Wide Across the Sky, and the Air Filled with a Reddish Glow (7:23)
3. The Soundless Dawn Came Alive as Cities Began to Mark the Horizon (4:19)
4. Mechanical Sounds Cascaded Though the City Walls and Everyone Reveled in Their Ignorance (11:20)
5. A Brief Moment of Clarity Broke Through the Deafening Hum, but It Was Too Late (5:59)
6. Our Happiest Days Slowly Began to Turn into Dust (5:40)
7. The Sixth Extinction Crept Up Slowly, Like Sunlight Through the Shutters, as We Looked Back in Regret (19:32)

Total Time 62:41

Bonus track on 2005 Japan edition:
8. I Saw the Sky in the North Open to the Ground and Fire Poured Out (7:06)

Line-up / Musicians

- Bryant Clifford Meyer / guitar, keyboards
- Josh Graham / guitar, keyboards
- Jeff Caxide / bass, guitar
- Greg Burns / bass, pedal steel guitar
- Dana Berkowitz / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Josh Graham

CD Neurot Recordings ‎- nr-035 (2005, US)
CD Daymare Recordings - PTCD-1020 (2005, Japan) With a bonus track

2LP Robotic Empire ‎- robo 043 (2005, US) New cover art

Digital album

Thanks to Bryan for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy RED SPAROWES At the Soundless Dawn Music

RED SPAROWES At the Soundless Dawn ratings distribution

(100 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

RED SPAROWES At the Soundless Dawn reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by chamberry
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Red Sparowes, finally here at PA. It was about time!

Red Sparowes is one of the post-rock bands of these recent years (2005) that aren't doing the same thing as Mogwai, EITS or Godspeed like other clones around. They managed to create a distinct sound on their own, something unique, something great.

The sound of Red Sparowes is very energetic and powerful like metal but without the heavy riffs or the vocals for that matter. Atmospheric like the trademark post-rock sound but with an edge and with alot of drones in the hard sounding places to make you feel what they want you to feel at the given song. Now this may sound like a description to Pelican, but believe me, they sound nothing like them. The guitars in Red Sparowes is the main source of emotion. While one is doing some heavy sounding rythims, the other is making some very emotional playing like in the third track wich is short but I found it the most emotional and accesible song in the album (I played it to some of my non prog friends and like it alot). The bass isn't left apart either delivering some really great lines like in the second track and it also helps with the atmosphere. Without it I think they couldn't make those very delicious melodies or thier unique sound. The drums also put their 2 cents making it very pleasant and not sounding forced in any way.

Once you hear the first song you'll be sucked into the sheer power of the music of Red Sparowes.You might notice by the titles of the song that the sound of the album isn't really happy either. Nothing in the album drags. The soft parts aren't too long and the hard parts aren't every wear. In other words, its well crafted and not a single note over or under. My only complaint is that the last song doesn't last that long. The song is an excellent closer and all, but the end of the song is what ruins it. The song really lasts 12 minutes the others are 3 minutes of silence and the last minutes of apocaliptic noise or something like that.

I woudn't call it a masterpiece of progressive rock,(It doesn't have to be a masterpiece to be excellent ya know) but it's one of the best albums I've heard in recent years and it's one of the most original and best sounding post-rock and prog rock albums in recent years also. Highly recommended. 4.5 stars

Review by GoldenSpiral
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is pure beauty from the second it starts. It is powerful and heavy, but never metallic. It is thickly instrumental, vast and dramatic, but never overblown. As soon as the first track starts, you'll know that Red Sparowes aren't like the other post-rock bands you've heard.

As a general description, I would call the music a pleasant mix of all the best parts of Pelican and Explosions in the Sky. The album is entirely guitar based, with an infusion of pedal steel, which while it sounds odd, actually works quite well with their sound. The guitar parts vary between EitS-like harmonies to somewhat heavier riffs, though no song could in fact be said to be riff-based. This is one of very few albums I know of where I could say that just about every song on the album is equally strong. My one complaint, however, is that most of the songs sound somewhat alike, but I think in the end this can be forgiven.

It is very clear from the sound of this record that the music comes naturally from the band, and each song flows seamlessly from beginning to end. In fact, the album flows pretty much the same way.

Let's give this album 4 stars for it's sheer emotion and great craftsmanship. It isn't a 5 star album, but Red Sparowes have plenty of potential to be a 5 star band. I hope to hear more from them soon!

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars This was my first ever Post-Rock record, so it does have special meaning to me. For me this was the perfect place to start.These guys are powerful yet they don't hit those explosive climaxes of say a GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR or YNDI HALDA. They also don't have those slow build ups either, this is just amazing guitar driven Post-Rock. The steel pedal sounds are unique and a nice touch as well. The titles of the songs are very long and actually make up a short apocalyptic story.

"Alone And Unaware, The Landscape Was Transformed In Front Of Our Eyes" opens with drums and guitar before those distinct steel pedal sounds arrive a minute in. A calm before 3 minutes is brief as the song comes back harder than before. Love the guitar 4 1/2 minutes in. The tempo continues to shift. Another calm 6 minutes in as it starts to get experimental with vocal samples. No melody. "Buildings Began To Stretch Wide Across The Sky, And The Air Filled With A Reddish Glow" sounds so amazing to open as drums pound and guitars fill the air with metal. It starts to settle down slowly until before 3 minutes to 4 minutes it's very quiet. Then it kicks back in powerfully. Nice.This continue until 6 minutes in when it becomes pastoral right to the end. "The Soundless Dawn Came Alive As Cities Began To Mark The Horizon" opens with beautiful sounding guitar melodies. Drums come in around 1 1/2 minutes. An excellent sound follows. It calms down again as the tempo continues to shift.The guitar gets heavy before 3 1/2 minutes.This sounds so good.

"Mechanical Sounds Cascaded Through The City Walls And Everyone Reveled In Their Ignorance" opens with these slowly pulsating mechanical sounds for 3 minutes when they are replaced by gentle guitar. Bass, synths and drums all join in as it builds. A full sound erupts 6 1/2 minutes in. It settles some a minute later, and steel pedal arrive 8 minutes in. From 9 minutes to the end it's spacey and haunting with no melody. "A Brief Moment Of Clarity Broke Through the deafening Hum, But It Was too Late" opens with bass, drums and steel pedal, guitar join quickly in this brighter section. It's silent before 4 minutes as faint vocal samples can be heard and an eerie sound.This sounds so hopeless. Too late. "Our Happiest Days Slowly Began To Turn Into Dust" is melancholic to open but it does get hopeful. More powerful 5 minutes in. "The Sixth Extinction Crept Up Slowly, Like Sunlight Through The Shutters, As We Looked Back In Regret..." is an almost 20 minute guitar led song that builds and receeds throughout. Some power in this one especially before 11 minutes. After that explosive outbreak it stays almost "soundless" until 16 1/2 minutes in when what sounds like a world ending sound continues to the end.

I am so impressed with this album. And the way the music expresses what we read in the song titles is brilliant.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Another group from the Bay Area, jumping on the train started by crosstown rivals Tarentel, Red Sparowes cannot escape the now-usual clichés that their forerunners had managed to avoid. Indeed, yet another band that can't resist the GYBE!/DSTM bandwagon and its mysterious soundscape. The weird thing is that those groups don't seem to bother that the horse's corpse they are flogging has been dead for a while and starts stinking like carrion. All cloning consideration aside, RS is hardly a bad band, quite the contrary, but they do seem to lack any kind of inventivity and their all-too-obvious inspirations, might hint at a lack of real personality.

Your typical GYBE!-inflicted disc, with lenghty instrumental tracks repetitive drawn-out, doomy, sombre but sober post rock where the guitars are as usual taking the lion's share of the limelight. You'll find every single cliché of a good post rock that the usual fans enjoy. And let's face it, there are no reasons that postheads should not appreciate it to the fullest. For the more casual listener, I doubt that this will be any essential and even no more than just filling the empty spaces in your shelves.

Review by Prog-jester
3 stars There is a certain kind of music known as Post-Rock. You may love it or hate it, but you know what you’ll get after all. RED SPAROWES is a more “metal” side of the genre, but still they have this nature of music, hence related structures, themes and arrangements. Despite the excellence of their musical material, they sound too close to other bands of that kind (RUSSIAN CIRCLES etc), and if you’re not into this stuff, there’s a risk to lost your attention in further exploring. Nevertheless, recommended and highly recommended: it’s such a nice record to enjoy, that I couldn’t help but give it 4 stars as a whole. Turn it on and start the journey!
Review by burritounit
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Red Sparowes At the Soundawn was one of my first post rock albums and a good one it still is. Clearly at that time I was looking for something more on the heavier side of post rock but not leaning towards metal and At the Soundawn was the answer. The most noticeable part of the album is the length of the song names, their just too long. Red Sparowes music is quite different from other post rock bands and it doesn't seem to follow the same sound that's been reused over time. Their music is refreshing and quite enjoyable with great melodies and soundscapes.

At the Soundawn starts at the right foot with Alone and Unaware, the Landscape Was Transformed In Front Of Our Eyes. The song just kicks right in with energy unlike other post rock songs that take time to start. In fact most of the songs in the album start like this. Buildings Began to Stretch Wide across the Sky, and the Air Filled with a Reddish Glow was good too, specially from 2:41 an on with explosive section. The Soundless Dawn Came Alive as Cities Began to Mark the Horizon it's kind of the happy song of the album and it goes right to point by lasting only 4 minutes. Another stand out song would be Our Happiest Days Slowly Began to Turn into Dust. This song sounds just like its name implies. It starts with a cheery crescendo, then it turns to a very melodic phase and in the end it gets kind of melancholic and evil. The last song: The Sixth Extinction Crept up Slowly, Like Sunlight through the Shutters, As We Looked Back in Regret could easily be described as your typical post but not in its entirety. After the first 2 minutes the song takes a long crescendo all to the end which is just at around the 11 minutes and not as the 19:32 suggest which kind of sucks in a way.

In overall At the Soundawn is a fantastic album and its highly recommended for fans of the genre.

A 4.3 for me.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's only been less than a couple of months since I first became properly acquainted with Red Sparowes (that is, move beyond the Myspace samplers and the occasional Youtube fan vid) by acquiring their debut album "At The Soundless Dawn", and well, I've been fairly impressed. No wonder that this ensemble is one of the better regarded ones in the realm of post-rock ? their music is muscular yet consistently focused on textures, providing continuous melancholic vibrations without letting go of an inherent energy that is both compelling and cerebral. Red Sparowes was born as an Isis off-shoot, but right from the start it became evident that it was a proper band with its own road before it and enough maturity to elaborate that road in appealing ways. This concept album revolving around the subject of man-made apocalypse delivers a majestic combination of cosmic nuances, robust guitar inputs and dynamic rhythmic stances. The opener sets things clearly with its effective mixture of soaring textures and powerful walls-of-sound where the guitars almost function as painting tools. While not being too frenzy, the rhythmic scheme is tight and electrifying. Just before getting at the 3 minute mark, the dynamics shifts toward a more intense momentum for a while, only until things become fairly minimalistic toward the end, actually, this is a recurring trick throughout the album: almost every track ends with a specific eerie coda that prepares the stage for the following one. Track 2 is a wonderful continuation and reelaboration of the opener's prevalent moods. With a softer interlude settling in momentarily, the musicians manage to create release and mystery as efficient contrasts to the colorful tension that prevails in the main body and its subsequent reprise. Track 3 is apparently more joyous than the preceding two pieces, although the controlled melodies and dense riffs still portray an unmistakable aura of neurotic nostalgia. Track 4 goes for a 11 ½ minute span. It starts with ethereal layers that ultimately turn to amounting tension in a fluid amalgam that lasts 3 minutes. After this, a series of slow arpeggios begins to install the main body, which bears an overbearing contemplative sensibility. The unsettling coda is very reminiscent of early Tangerine Dream, and "Ummagumma"-era Floyd. A special asset for track 5 lies in its candid mood, which works as a source of variation against the recurring tension shown in the preceding tracks. Another asset is the use of pedal steel guitar as a provider of eerie mystic ripples of sound among the sober combination of dual guitar harmonies. This track's coda bears a somewhat cinematic mood, which makes track 6 emphasize its lyrical framework ? in many ways, it is a continuation of the preceding track's sensibility, only increasing the resulting tranquility in order to enhance the sensation that we are witnessing the aural manifestation of a spiritual manifestation. Last but not least, there is the magnificent closer, a powerful track that recapitulates and refurbishes the epic side of the band. The long crescendo that constructs the main body is a clever exercise on building up without losing control and without missing the focus ? the crescendo is craftily sustained in a sonic architecture of subtleties and atmospheres that almost seems to materialize. Once the final riffs are over, a few notes on electric piano state a momentary end followed by some minutes of silence and a cosmic minimalistic epilogue. Now that it's all over, it is time to wrap up this balance by recommending this album to every music collector that is curious to learn about and fully appreciate the new roads of current experimental rock. Purchasing a Red Sparowes album is a win-win situation, so to speak.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Red Sparowes are as interesting for their song titles as they are for their instrumental Post Rock/Math Rock music. Though I heard Every Red Heart Beats... first, I have enjoyed all of the Sparowes output. This one still sounded fresh to me, even after hearing ...Red Heart... Though this is pretty straightforward Post/Math Rock, it is, for me, like the rock, the center, the epitome of all that defines the sub-genre. It'd be difficult to pick out song favorites or album highlights. I like the power and urgency of much of the music here. Even the droning beginning portion of the eleven-minute "Mechanical Sounds Cascaded through the City Walls..." has this awesome power to it.

1. "Alone and Unaware, the Landscape Was Transformed in Front of Our Eyes" (8:28) 2. "Buildings Began to Stretch Wide Across the Sky, and the Air Filled with a Reddish Glow" (7:23) 3. "The Soundless Dawn Came Alive as Cities Began to Mark the Horizon" (4:19) 4. "Mechanical Sounds Cascaded Though the City Walls and Everyone Reveled in Their Ignorance" (11:20) (17.25/20) 5. "A Brief Moment of Clarity Broke Through the Deafening Hum, but It Was Too Late" (5:59) 6. "Our Happiest Days Slowly Began to Turn into Dust" (5:40) 7. "The Sixth Extinction Crept Up Slowly, Like Sunlight Through the Shutters, as We Looked Back in Regret" (19:32) Twelve minutes of some of the best Post Rock that I've ever heard and then (look at the title) silence. Four minutes of silence. And then industrial and nature sounds begin to pop up till the song's finish. Awesome! (37/40)

Total Time 62:41

I guess the first four songs are my favorites--because of their power. Songs five and six are pretty but almost like a peaceful respite. The nineteen minute finale is another great one, every bit as as powerful as the first four. Overall, this is a solid four star album.

Review by Warthur
2 stars Red Sparowes crank the Godspeed You Black Emperor/A Silver Mt. Zion style of post-rock up to 11, and aren't afraid to include sustained abrasive wails and shrieks in their music if that's what they think the composition calls for. On the whole, I don't think At the Soundless Dawn quite measures up to works by their post-rock peers; whilst Godspeet and Mt. Zion have also never been afraid to throw in the occasional dissonant or abrasive element into their music, they also show a keen judgement of exactly how long to sustain it for to achieve the right artistic effect without it becoming aggravating; Red Sparowes, to my ears at least, seem to lack that, often creating compositions which are just uncomfortable and uninteresting to listen to.
Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This is the debut album of the band 'Red Sparowes', a post rock band formed with 2 members from Prog Metal band 'Isis', Jeff Caxide and Bryant Clifford Meyer, both guitarists. Besides them, there were 3 other members in the band that were involved in this album.

The band utilizes a lot of pedal steel guitar. The music is also all instrumental and makes it's statements through samples and field recordings, but also through the long titles of each track. The music is hard and heavy, a lot like the band 'Pelican', and is based on the formula of building on a musical foundation through the use of crescendo, the basis of a lot of post rock. The concept of this album is about how there have been 5 extinctions throughout the history of the Earth, all of which were the result of natural occurrences. This album deals with The Sixth Extinction, which we are all now a part of and which is entirely a result of mankind.

The overall sound of the music is heavy and metallic, mostly dark, with the pedal steel adding a unique tone of brightness to the otherwise darkness. The wall of sound technique is used, but isn't always prevalent, and this helps create a great use of dynamics. It has an expansive sound and can get quite loud at times, as would be expected from a band that takes it's leadership from two members from 'Isis'.

'Alone and Aware'' has a lot of dynamics, not in the use of slow buildup, but in sudden changes. This lends a lot of variety to the track. The pedal steel is used quite effectively in the first part of the track. Towards the last part, the sound almost abruptly ends leaving only the sound of birds, and then some atmospheric sounds and processed vocal samples come in.

'Buildings Begin to Stretch'' is based on a repetitive melody played at times by the guitar and others by the bass. I like the way background noise caused by guitars come in and then suddenly disappear, building up and tearing down that wall of sound. The music drops off suddenly to a single guitar, and the melody comes back in variations. Dynamics are used with layering to bring back the initial loudness later. There is a metallic tone that reminds one of GY!BE. This is an excellent track with a lot of emotion felt through the orchestration.

'The Soundless Dawn'' is the shortest track at just over 4 minutes. This one utilizes a repeating pattern and shimmering guitars, but doesn't deliver the punch of the previous 2 tracks. It's more accessible because of its length and lesser intensity. However, it just doesn't really go anywhere or make any statement. At least it is short.

'Mechanical Sounds'' by contrast, is a 9 minute track. It starts off quite minimally with low tones. Layers of dark guitar sounds are built on this. This becomes almost drone like and goes on for 3 minutes before it fades and is replaced by a single guitar playing a repeating pattern softly. Drums are added later, but things remain subdued until about 5 minutes, then things get louder. This track starts off interestingly enough, but pretty much just follows the basic post rock formula, so it doesn't really hold my interest for as long as it should considering it's length. The pedal steel does bring in some Pink Floyd atmosphere however, but not enough to save the track by the time it comes in.

By the time 'A Brief Moment of Clarity'' comes in, it is a big surprise because it is suddenly very positive and bright sounding. This is very effective because of it's placement on the album. The pedal steel is back, but is utilized much better here. The rhythm is more straightforward here, which is also a nice surprise considering the overall feeling of darkness that has come before. Layers build, making things louder, but it still doesn't drown out the joyfulness of the track. This is a perfect example of how the music and the title of the track are spot on. By the time you get to the 4 minute mark though, there is a sudden drop off and a spoken vocal is heard in the distance, and darkness returns with a drone-ish sound from a guitar. This is a very effective track and it shows the creativity of the band.

'Our Happiest Days Begin to Turn'' again fits the 'narrative' of the title with another track that starts off with that positive feeling, but the beat is more hesitant here. Suddenly, discord starts to come into the picture, slowly. The happy feel of the track doesn't want to let go, but after a while, the track gets darker. This is instrumental storytelling at its best. By the end, we have returned to dangerous times and this is expressed by loudness, repetitive power chords and dissonance.

'The Sixth Extinction Crept Up Slowly'' is a 19 minute behemoth of a track. It starts immediately on a building crescendo that suddenly turns pensive at 2 minutes. It settles into this feeling as drums are added. It's not until 7 minutes in before the intensity increases and builds. This repeating strumming pattern has been going on all along, and continues through the build. A sudden apex is reached at 9 minutes, but it's still based on that same strumming pattern. It almost reaches screeching levels at 11 minutes. You will hear keyboards suddenly take over and break everything down. And then '..silence'. until 16 minutes. A drone that increases and then diminishes in volume carries the listener to the end. This track is too repetitive, and follows the typical formula too closely for way too long. That repetitive strumming pattern is just too much.

So, there are some very impressive tracks and passages here, but there is a lot of formulaic and predictable sections. The way the band tells the story through instruments only is quite amazing. There are some very well done and effective dynamics and some great surprises, but there are also moments of predictability that go on too long. There are times when the album easily reaches 5 star level, but other times when things drag on too long. It is tough to decide where to rate this one, but I'm going to have to go with a 3 here. There are so many places where the band rises above the post rock crowd, but it only makes it more disappointing when they resort to the worn out formula when they don't expand on it enough. Still, it's good enough to merit repeated listens, but probably with the help of a 'FF>>' button.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I thought this album was going to be more of a post metal record than anything else, but boy I was wrong. Red Sparrowes provided a solid piece of post rock with At the Soundless Dawn. There is post metal at times, but the only part I would describe as post metal to someone else would the the ope ... (read more)

Report this review (#2593686) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Saturday, September 11, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Red Sparowes is very recommended. It is very clear from the sound of this record that the music comes naturally from the band, and each song flows seamlessly from beginning to end. In fact, the album flows pretty much the same way. I woudn't call it a masterpiece of progressive rock,(It doesn't h ... (read more)

Report this review (#183863) | Posted by TRIFIVE5000 | Saturday, September 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars entirely unique would not be the first word i use to describe this album. They blend elements of what's been done brilliantly with new elements used in different contexts to create somethign new which i think is just as good. a very good album. recommended. ... (read more)

Report this review (#161906) | Posted by shentile | Saturday, February 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After listening to Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Russian Circles and entering the world of post rock I ask my good buddy for a band that could be as melodic as these two but be in the middle sound. My point: Not be too heavy as Russian Circles but not to soft as Godspeed. And he came out wit ... (read more)

Report this review (#111117) | Posted by | Thursday, February 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the most extarordinary releases that I've heard the last years... Really... Even when I just have the Neurot Records version (I didn't hear the song I Saw the Sky in the North Open to the Ground and Fire Poured Out, bonus track on Daymare edition) I still think that Red Sparowes debut al ... (read more)

Report this review (#100713) | Posted by progadicto | Monday, November 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent, excellent album. From the moment I heard this I fell in love with it. This is one of the heaviest post-rock albums I have heard, and I love it. This record is brimming with emotion and beauty, but its pure power just shines through. I can definitely hear some Explosions in the Sky i ... (read more)

Report this review (#89525) | Posted by lightbulb_son | Tuesday, September 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of RED SPAROWES "At the Soundless Dawn"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.