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FOSSIL EYES

The Red Masque

RIO/Avant-Prog


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The Red Masque Fossil Eyes album cover
3.05 | 3 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Spider is the Web (6.48)
2. Carbon 14 (6.48)
3. Gliese 138 (1.33)
4. Das Snail (7.12)
5. The Worm (1.19)
6. Carbon 13 (4.10)
7. Lost in the Petrified Forest (1.37)
8. The Hive (2.45)
9. Polyphemus (6.01)
10. Metamorphosis (2.19)
11. The Anti-Man (Not Afraid) (12.43)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Brandon Lord Ross / bass, moog, hammond, keyboards, tibetan bell, echo theremin, voices
- Vonorn / drums & percussion, keyboards, bass, electric guitar, accordion, vocals
- Andrew Kowal / electric & 12 string guitars, violin, remote control, lighter, voices
- Lynnette Shelley / vocals, tree harp, thunder tube, percussion & sundries

Releases information

To be disclosed soon

Thanks to avestin for the addition
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THE RED MASQUE Fossil Eyes ratings distribution


3.05
(3 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
50%
Good, but non-essential (50%)
50%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

THE RED MASQUE Fossil Eyes reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The soundtrack to a horror story

The Red Masque - the name alone conjures up in my mind images of mystery tales and horror stories a-la Edgar Alan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. The foursome that makes up The Red Masque fills my imaginary world with sounds that fit these very well with their dark, heavy, thumping and bizarre sound world. With two albums (which I love) and one EP to their record they continue their musical path with this new offering entitled Fossil Eyes. This time around, there are more songs than on Feathers For Flesh and those are shorter, but no less effective or impressive. In fact, one might listen to this as a one continuous song separated into several shorter parts as the mood and sounds persist throughout this release and due to the natural sense of flow that links the songs very well together. Zeuhlish bass, nightmarish throbbing sound (in a good way!), desperate evocative cries, heavy guitar riffs; these are still here and even more emphasized than before.

The first song (and not only it) continues the sound found in the opening of House Of Ash which opened Feathers For Flesh. That tormented sound that makes me feel someone has unlocked the door to hell and all the cries of the damned souls are coming through the open gates. The guitar sounds a lot heavier this time around, almost metal-ic at times. Indeed, the overall atmosphere is very "heavy" and dense. I feel overwhelmed after listening to this as if I've overdosed with music; highly intense. It feels to me as if walls of sounds are closing in on me from all sides and I'm in the middle unable to escape them. It reminds me somewhat of the listening experience I have with Tool (it doesn't sound like them; I just want to point out the effect the music has on me). This style continues in songs like Carbon 14 and Das Snail. The heavy and distorted feel, the bewitching vocals and the eerie mood all create a special ambiance that is found in albums like Guapo's Five Suns and others of their ilk and add to that a vocalist such as Diamanda Galas and you get an idea of what to expect. To touch on that issue, let me say only that I am at awe with the voice Lynnette possesses. It matches the power of all the other instruments (also thanks to the mixing, but still).

What I respect and like about The Red Masque is that they seem to have created this particular and recognizable sound that while one can (think they) spot their influences and also identify similar bands, it is very much their own. This seemingly chaotic frenzy and anguish; topped with haunting zeuhlish- sounding bass and all-over the place drumming. Twisted would be another word I would use to describe the atmosphere they create. By that I mean, twisted as in a weird horror story where sense and logic are lost and the unnatural world has taken over. The opening song alone gives me this impression with its bone chilling and even "perverse" atmosphere that can easily fit as the soundtrack to an H.P. Lovecraft story (the name will come again here). This, mixed with occasional sense of despair, oozes from most of the songs here. Anger and anguish intertwined. The album also features shorter tracks (1-2 minutes long) which purpose it is (I guess) to create a proper ambience surrounding the songs and creating a connecting and leading thread from one song to the next.

One of the most experimental and bizarre tracks here is The Hive which makes a brilliant use of electronic effects to create exactly what the title suggests; A gorgeous or nightmarish soundscape (depends on how you look at it) which sonically sounds like you're surrounded with a million electronic bees.

Polyphemus is bewitching. It is an eerie song (keeping up with the rest of the bunch), one that can fit very well into some horror movies (again, not different from the others). A brilliant track, with twists and wonderful playing; Lynnette's voice appears every now and then, broken down. The middle of the track sees its change to a different pace and mood and also has now Lynnette singing without being cut out but with over-dubs. This is a fabulous track, a great exercise in how to create sonic terror (meant in a good way).

The last song, The Anti-Man, mixes the two prominent characteristics here, those being heaviness (displayed by the heavy guitar riffing and powerful drum performance) and the eeriness (which is the result of the overall sound and song structure as well). It is the only song here that gets near the epic length of past albums tracks. Despite its length it was quite accessible to my ears and soon (-er than the other tracks) became a favourite track here. It ends with a feel of desperation and closure very well executed by the whole band, particularly by the solo guitar going almost berserk.

After all this I must also address what are (possible) flaws in this album. Two possible downsides in this release for some listeners can be that 1) it might be too much intensity at the expense of melody and 2) that it may be hard to distinguish between the different tracks (relating to what I noted at the start of this review). It is "brutal", which is fine with me and I like it a lot, but some may feel that what characterized their two previous releases is lacking a bit here; that is their wonderful crafting of odd and special melodies. Not to say these are non-existing here but it drowns in the "sea" of intensity, the massive sound of the instruments that seem to overshadow everything else. This is why this album deserves the full attention of the listener and repeated listening. It may be a bit too much to listen to at times (and certainly while in the proper mood) and therefore a feeling that there's a lack of diversity here may creep through. But one needs to look at this album as a sort of concept album or at least a consider there's a sound- concept here, which is why there's a dominancy of this tone throughout the album. For those who know and like the band and for those who like the styles and bands referenced in this review, I easily recommend this album. It is creating out-worldly sounds and conjures up some disturbing and weird images when listening. It is a fantastic listening experience which I will return to listen to (like their previous albums). One more thing, there's superb performance by all the band members, wonderful playing which makes this even more pleasurable to listen to.

For PA rating, 3.5 stars

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Send comments to avestin (BETA) | Report this review (#172745) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 31, 2008

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