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Red Sand


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Red Sand Mirror Of Insanity album cover
3.96 | 123 ratings | 14 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Blame (12:10)
2. Children memory (10:15)
3. Mirror Of Insanity (14:47)
4. Cradle (2:46)

Total Time: 39:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Hëmel / vocals
- Simon Caron / guitars, composer, arrangements
- Stéphane Desbiens / keyboards, arrangements, producer & mixing
- Ian Coté / bass
- Perry Angellino / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Djeyer

CD Ipso Facto ‎- IF-2010 (2004, Canada)
CDr self-released (2005, Canada)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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RED SAND Mirror Of Insanity ratings distribution

(123 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RED SAND Mirror Of Insanity reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars Every Marillion Freak that loves the Fish-era should give this debut CD from the Canadian progrock band Red Sand a chance! The first three compositions (between 10 and 15 minutes) sound very pleasant featuring fluent shifting moods, fine keyboardplay (synth soli like Mark Kelly and wonderful Mellotron samples) and excellent guitarwork in the vein of Steve Rothery (sensitive and howling with frequent use of the tremolo-arm). Only the vocals often remind me of Nick Barrett from Pendragon. The last track (almost 3 minutes) features twanging acoustic guitar, warm vocals and violin-Mellotron waves, halfway sensitive electric gutiar and choiri-Mellotron enters, beautiful! This band sounds far from original, the compositions are not really elaborate but Red Sand simply makes wonderful early Marillion inspired progrock, no more or less, JUST ENJOY IT!
Review by Prog-jester
5 stars Wow!....Excellent!5,5! I've been searching for this CD for half-a-year.It's even beyond my expectations! It's absolutely awesome - imagine a second Script(or a mixture of Script&Childhood with some moments from COLLAGE,CLEPSYDRA and SHADOWLAND),if you'd like to understand me.But this one IS NOT the copy or parody,their music is unique!

"Blame" begins with Pseudo-Silk-Kimono-like theme,passes through Bitter-Suite-like moment("A spider wanders aimlessly.."etc) and bursting into absolutely Shadowlandic theme(with some Market-Square-heroes-like moments).The Fugazi-like psychedelic bridge("son watches father..."etc) crushes into the ending ballad-like theme - I ADORE IT!!

"Children's Memory" begins like Chelsea Monday's ending,very nice and sincere,then a nervous theme begins(like "The game is over" in Script's beginning),which flows into Blind-Curve-like theme...then,after a ballad part,a great tense culmination - and an awesome ballad ending,like Shadowland's Jigsaw...

"Mirror of Insanity" is also filled with haunting moments(by the way,they use here 7/8 - the very first time on this CD,when they're using a complex rhytm...besides,there's NO 3/4,3/8,6/4,6/8 rhytms(I wonder if they have an idea 'bout them:-) ),and that's the first & the last drawback of the work),and the coda"Cradle" is totally nice(Going-Under- like theme)

Well,as you see,the music can be easily described by comparing with other songs...but that's only COMPARING!!!RED SAND is absolutely UNIQUE,you MUST have them!!!I'd like to wish them some more albums...guys,do never change your path!Proggers &Neo- proggers,you must have this CD!!!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Red Sand's Mirror of Insanity is one good exemple of how your first impression can be wrong. When I first bought it I, for some reason, thought the album was awful. After maybe one or two listenings I just put it aside and completely forgot about this band for months. Suddenly I decided to pick up some of my older CDs and see which ones were worth to keep. Red Sand was one that I could not remember what the music was like. When I put it on the CD player I was completely surprised of how good they sounded! The more I hear them the more I liked Mirror Of Insanity.

Yes, at first they may sound too familiar. Fish era Marillion is surely their main inspiration, and yet, they menage to bring a great record. And since Marillion sound like anything but early Marillion, it's alright. After all, you don't have to be totally original to be good. Besides, this is their first offering and judging by it, it is an excellent work. Probably their sound will outgrow the actual frame. But don't make the mistake to take them for a Marillion clone. They have their personality although the style is very much the same (I had a similar impression when I heard Pendragon the first time and now I see they are quite different and I'm a big fan of both).

The record itself is a neo prog gem, since it may be a little short in time, but there are no fillers, the playing is superb, the production is surprisely good for a such obscure label and the singer knows how to deliver the message with emotion. And last, but not least, the songwriting and arrangements are top notch.

If you're into neo prog this is a must have. If you like prog music in general you should check this out.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Instrumentally this band sounds a lot like Fish-era MARILLION. There are a lot of melancholic sections that are contrasted with the uptempo and uplifting passages.

"Blame" is melancholic to begin with gentle guitar and keys as reserved vocals come in.The sound becomes much fuller 3 minutes in but it's brief as we get a lot of atmosphere to follow. It's not until before 5 minutes that the song kicks in sounding a lot like MARILLION. Some nice Rothery-like guitar after 7 minutes. We get a dark section a minute later before the song ends in an uplifting manner with soaring guitar. "Children Memory" opens with fragile vocals and gentle guitar before the song steps up a notch 1 1/2 minutes in. I really like the guitar 2 1/2 and 4 minutes in. More uplifting guitar after 9 minutes.

"Mirror Of Insanity" opens rather solemnly as a sadness can be felt in the music and lyrics. It changes to a brighter mood after 3 minutes becoming more uptempo and catchy. A calm 5 1/2 minutes in as synths and drums lead us out of that climate. Mellotron sweeps through 8 1/2 minutes in with piano arriving a minute later. The guitar soars 11 minutes in. "Cradle" is a short song with acoustic guitar, fragile vocals and mellotron. Electric guitar 2 minutes in plays tastefully.

3.5 stars. Debated about 4 stars but honestly couldn't do it because I just didn't like it that much. I really like the brighter, uptempo passages that remind me of MARILLION though.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Mirror Of Insanity" is the debut full-length studio album by Canadian, Quebec based progressive rock act Red Sand. The album was independently released in 2005. Red Sand was formed in 2003 by guitarist Simon Caron after he had previously been active in acts like Fénix and Océan.

Stylistically Red Sand are a Fish-era Marillion Clone if I never heard one (there I said it...), but one of the better ones I´ve encountered. The singer is imitating Fish and it´s kind of awkward at times, when you sound this much like someone else. Other than that he is a skilled singer and the band are well playing too, also imitating the lush but melancholic neo-progressive sound of 80s Marillion. The album features three long epic tracks and a short closing one. The long tracks are very fragmented and seems like they are made up of many shorter songs or parts.

As mentioned the musicians are skilled and as this is neo-progressive rock you notice the keyboard player the most. He has a playing style very similar to Mark Kelly from Marillion even though Stephane Desbiens is more in the forefront than Mark Kelly is on most Marillion material. The guitarist also reminds me of Steve Rothery from Marillion. His bends and generally melodic approach is very much in the same vein. The drums also sounds like Marillion.

The sound quality sounds like it´s made in the 80s. If you like thin 80s progressive rock sound productions this will go down well. Personally I appreciate the sound production on "Mirror Of Insanity", but I don´t normally expect anything made in 2004 to sound like this.

Overall "Mirror of Insanity" is a good quality album, although Red Sand arguably wear their influences a bit too much on their sleeves. This is for the 80s Fish-era Marillion fans, who can live with the clone factor being turned to 11, because they want more Fish-era Marillion, but know they can never have it, and therefore have to search for alternatives...this is actually a worthwhile alternative if you´re one of those fans. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Marillionalikes are ten a penny in the neo-prog subgenre, but Red Sand stand out at both being particularly good at evoking the early Marillion sound and proving adept at doing their own thing with it. With a few influences from IQ and Arena here and there to spice things up a bit, the band craft a sound which might win few prizes for originality, but at the same time will prove very satisfying to neo-prog fans in general and in particular anyone who enjoys the first four Marillion albums, though those who put a very high premium on originality and complexity may find themselves bored.
Review by Hector Enrique
4 stars It is probably the Red Sand record most clearly influenced by Marillion of the Fish era. The atmosphere of the entire album, soft and relaxed, with keyboards that accompany us during the journey of its almost 40 minutes lead us to imagine being listening to parts of Script for a Jester's Tear and parts of Misplaced Childhood at times. Simon Caron's guitar shows similarities that at times we cannot differentiate from Rothery's. Not for that reason, the marked influence being evident, Canadians manage to present an excellent album, in which the 3 songs of more than 10 minutes (Blame, Children Memory, and the one that gives the title to the album Mirror of Insanity ) show us a compositional quality that must be among the best of the neoprogressive genre.

We can place very clear reminiscences in the middle and towards the end of the songs Children Memory and Mirrow of Insanity, Bitter Suite / Heart of Lothian, and in the song that closes the album (Cradle) a clear influence of the end of Heart of Lothian . Additionally we find in Cradle the use of acoustic guitars in its beginnings, something that marks a variation regarding the influence of Marillion.

Mirror of Insanity is an excellent debut album by Red Sand, and I consider it the highest of their discography, and who they also represent as more than worthy representatives of the genre.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Mirror Of Insanity © 2004 1) Blame 12:10 Remember song Marillion " Script For a jesters tear "? The same sensations, the same atmosphere, the same spirit.. Immersing with a head in magic, fine music.. Mood of this marillion compositions. The same you long also beauty, the same heat ... (read more)

Report this review (#798554) | Posted by Jihnik1958 | Thursday, August 2, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is an old Marillion clone band with touches of Pink Floyd. Music is good but nothing original here. Vocals are very good, instrumental arrangements and interpretations good too,but i would expected more for an album with such a high average of review points. Good for old Marillion ... (read more)

Report this review (#152291) | Posted by robbob | Thursday, November 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I must make a review of that album.For me it was the surprise of 2004 everything is good on that cd (like everyone said it"s too short).I was waiting for a band like that since the departure of FISH from MARILLION.You could say that it"s the Misplaced Childhood from Québec.4 great songs even the ... (read more)

Report this review (#30546) | Posted by pots | Sunday, May 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars There is a lot of bands that are trying to sound like Marillion, but there is always something wrong with those groups.Sometimes the voice ,sometimes the production or the keys. Red Sand is not a good exemple,everything is well done and perfect. I do miss the old Marillion and if you are like me ... (read more)

Report this review (#30543) | Posted by | Friday, February 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I agree with following message,the same way with Marillon and Arena but is very great.. Many band try to recrete this style but not done..RED SAND make beatiful job the guitar arangement is so cool the vocalist also keep simple but nice melodie on is voice.. Good atmosphere around this album..On ... (read more)

Report this review (#30544) | Posted by progarctica | Saturday, February 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A brand new band that is following the path of their favorite bands such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson or Marillion. Instead of those influences they succeeded in creating an atmospheral work that is their mark. A new amazing band. We wait for their second opus which will be no dount on that a ne ... (read more)

Report this review (#30542) | Posted by | Tuesday, February 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A universe which recalls us, Marillon. An alleviating and powerful voice propelled by the accrocheuse and vibrating guitar of Simon Caron, new come in the world from the progressive rockl, but which one should intend to still speak. The centre piece mirror of insanity is fabulous.This disc has ... (read more)

Report this review (#30538) | Posted by | Tuesday, May 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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