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FEATHERS FOR FLESH

The Red Masque

RIO/Avant-Prog


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The Red Masque Feathers For Flesh album cover
3.93 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. House of Ash (12:07)
i) Corridors
ii) Judgement
iii) The King's Lament Pt. 1
iv) The King's Lament Pt. 2
2. Passage (14:12)
3. Yellow Are His Opening Eyes (14:47)
i) The Summoning
ii) Outscream
iii) Vacant
4. Beggars & Thieves (9:38)
5. Scarlet Experiment (3:46)

Total Time: 44:30

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Kiarash Emami / electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, keyboards, vocals
- Lynnette Shelley / vocals, erhu, psaltery, pots, pans, slinky and other objects
- Brandon Ross / bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Vonorn / drums, percussion, keyboards, theremin, electric guitar, bass, vocals

Guests:
- Damian Boucher / violin (1)
- Sue Wolfsong / vocals (5)

Releases information

Big Balloon Music, BBM 1102

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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THE RED MASQUE Feathers For Flesh ratings distribution


3.93
(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(75%)
75%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

THE RED MASQUE Feathers For Flesh reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars feathers for flesh; music as their shield

I will not go into details about the band, as you can read them in the band bio here in PA, taken from their website.

Starting with a wind and occasional percussions and then hissings that go stronger and stronger with some chanting and cries floating by, this haunting and frightening atmosphere creates a tension and anticipation in me, the listener - what will come next? An explosion of sounds? Yes! A powerful, fuzzing and fantastic bass gives a great complex rhythm accompanied by the rest of the band, and Lynette's cries. This is a very powerful entry, one that grabs me strongly and gets my undivided attention. TRM know how to create a compelling, even frightening atmosphere, whether it be in a fast, bombarding way, or in a slow, more minimalist and gloomy fashion. Their sound pierces, traverses through my brain leaving deep markings (in a good way). The opening sung lyrics - "I Live In A House Of Ash" - as Lynette performs them are mesmerizing! Her voice is as beautiful as it is powerful and controlling. She manages to convey feelings very well with her deep evocative voice. However, in this case, if TRM would have only vocals and the band would not be as effective as them it would lose much of the effect. This brings me to the point, that the band plays very well and with passion. The drums are all over the place when needed and give the right amount of support when they recede more to the background.

While you might recognize influences in their various songs, I feel they have well crafted a sound of their own, a niche that they inhabit and a comfortable place they hold. They cover a ground from quiet (yet it can still sound terrifying) and unhurried (as in the songs Passage, Beggars & Thieves) to the fast, furious and complex (parts of House Of Ash and of Yellow Are His Opening Eyes); they also play a more conventional sound, but then shift away suddenly and make it more complicated sounding or the other way around, move to the simpler from the more complicated parts (see Passage). Basically they are varied with respect to the complexity and intensity of the music they play. They move from angular form to a smoother, softer and rounder sound. They also tend to go for the more epic form of songs; long, with various different parts and complex with regards to structure and playing style. They are not afraid to experiment, and do this in the sound they create and in the composition's structures, not forgetting the original theme and musical idea that started the song. Another aspect to the band is the more avant-garde approach as can be heard in the last two songs. In "Yellow Are His Opening Eyes", Lynette's voice as she narrates/sings, reminds me of Diamanda Galas. What a fabulous voice! In this song when the abstract, rhythmless part ends, they show how they can rock (heavily) and do it very well, in a sophisticated way with an influence from King Crimson Red-era. In fact the King Crimson vibe can be heard in various points in the album (again, Red era). It's as if they've taken KC sound and "mutated" it so that it fits their vision. You might think that beauty is absent here. Well what is beauty in your eyes? I think that all the songs here are beautiful; but if you want a more common perception of beauty then, Beggars and Thieves with its folk sound is definitely the song here which will appeal to the wider musical palate. With another powerful vocal delivery, Lynette is fantastic in this song, backed up by the excellent musicians in the band. With the closing song, Scarlet Experiments, comes experimentation as the name implies. The songs is amorphic, going up and down in volume, it has "disturbing" sound effects, hissing vocals; it is abstract as if someone were painting a musical canvas not sure what he wants to paint, only having a vague image in his mind, a very basic idea; and he uses the brush with violence one moment and then calming down the next to bring to life his unclear vision. It is a sort of exercise in "drawing" the music to describe your vision.

I find this album to be a magnificent listening experience. The band performs wonderfully, bringing to life a vivid vision which is as beautiful as it is complex. I recommend this highly to people who want an artistic, adventurous and experimental form of rock that takes in what is perceived as common and usual and absorbs it into what is viewed as unusual.

Go to their websites to listen to their music!

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Send comments to avestin (BETA) | Report this review (#157881) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 06, 2008

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Technically just below 4 stars, but rounded up to it.

Although this writer has been, aware of Lynette's gang for a while and had two albums that periodically played in his deck, I had never had the time to actually sit down behind my computer while it was spinning. The least we can say is that TRM's musical landscapes are rather unique, mixing a certain idea of Goth (or macabre) music with avant-garde prog rock, which makes them rather unique, despite some obvious influences. Indeed the crazy illustrations (courtesy of the delicious Lynette) on the album's booklet could come out of a Lovecraft book, but they reflect fairly well the oppressing ambiance of this FFF album. Each of the four multi-instrumentalist take on a fictional (or is it?) character name, even if drumming guitarist Vornon kept his moniker.

Opening on the lengthy 4-movement suite House Of Ash, which start hostilities on an electronic Corridors piece, before directing towards a Crimsonian ambiance in Judgment, with extreme Gothic and operatic vocals from the statuesque Lynette. Definitely one of a kind., with only the Icelandic Thursaflokkurin band coming close. The almost-instrumental King's Lament's two parts enhanced the oppressive Crimsonian oppression on your eardrums. The following Passage mixes some post-rock influences (at first) with some acoustic arpeggios and Lynette's more reserved vocal prowess. I must say that the following Yellow Are his Opening Eyes is a little too much for this proghead and repeated listens only worsen the experience and provoke a compression of the FFWD button on my remote control until we reach the crimsonian Outscream movement, filled with trons of mello. Will the delicious Lynette ever forgive me? Excellent third movement, though. The eerie folky medieval piece Beggars & Thieves feature two acoustic guitars arpeggio-ing away over eerie layers with Lynette lyrics being most-straightforward on the present album. The closing Scarlet Experiment returns to spoken-vocals and eerie noises like in the opening movement of Opening Eyes, which is easier to evade by pressing the eject button.

I find it a little too bad that TRM chose to go overboard with their delightful siren's impressive vocal capacities in the last quarter of the album, but otherwise, this is an almost-stunning album. Not far from being TRM's best album, but the vocals bits sort of damage its perfection.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#512627) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 01, 2011

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