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Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Red Masque - Fossil Eyes (2008)
    Posted: May 22 2008 at 22:28
RED MASQUE, THE  - Fossil Eyes
 
I have received a promo copy of this new album by The Red Masque from Lynnette and I'll be posting a review of it soon enough but I wanted to start this thread about the album as they deserve the support and attention of music lovers and progressive and avant-rock fans.
 
This is more heavy than the previous album Feathers For Flesh (my review), much more intense and dense. There's a distinct zeuhlish sound that is evident from the bass sound, the drumming and occasionally from Lynnette's wonderful vocals.
The musicianship is excellent, the mood is haunting and eerie; overall this is quite the ride! An album to listen to late at night...
 
 
 
 
 
 
THE RED MASQUE / Fossil Eyes
 
CREDITS
 
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
 
 
Song List
 
01.  The Spider is the Web (6.48)
02.  Carbon 14 (6.48)
03.  Gliese 138 (1.33)
04.  Das Snail (7.12)
05.  The Worm (1.19)
06.  Carbon 13 (4.10)
07.  Lost in the Petrified Forest (1.37)             
08.  The Hive (2.45)
09.  Polyphemus (6.01)
10.  Metamorphosis (2.19)
11.  The Anti-Man (Not Afraid) (12.43)
 
Songs 1, 2, 4, 9 by Ross, Shelley & Vonorn Song 6 by Kowal, Ross, Shelley, Vonorn Song 11 by Ross, Shelley, Vonorn & Kiarash Emami Song 3 by Kowal & The Red Masque Songs 5, 8 by Ross & The Red Masque Song 7 by Shelley & The Red Masque Song 10 by Vonorn
 
FOSSIL EYES was produced by Vonorn, and engineered by Vonorn. Additional engineering by Jeff Woloszyn of Buddha Zen Recording Studio.  All lyrics by Lynnette Shelley, except "The Anti-Man" by Brandon Ross, Lynnette Shelley and Vonorn.  Recorded at Vonorn Productions, Piscataway, NJ and Buddha Zen Recording Studio, Philadelphia, PA. 
 
DEDICATED TO: Donald Ross and Michael Kowal, RIP.
 
THANK YOU: For everyone's assistance, patience and good will during difficult years, The Red Masque thank you for your support. We especially wish to thank David Kerman, and Paul and Debbie Sears.
 
Artwork and design by Lynnette Shelley (designbyredeye.com). Photography by Matthew J. Romano (mattromanophoto.com)
 
theredmasque.com
myspace.com/myredmasque
theredmasque@theredmasque.com
 

 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2008 at 22:45
Definitely on my wishlist.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2008 at 11:16
We will definitely buy it too. The Red Masque are our favourite modern band.

BaldJean and I; I am the one in blue.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2008 at 16:59
I think (and hope) you'll enjoy it all three of you (Aaron, Friede and Jean).
 
On another note, Bump; Big%20smile 
 
Anyone else into this fine and talented band?
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2008 at 02:05
Originally posted by Pnoom!

Definitely on my wishlist.

I am a bit surprised they are only on your wishlist in your opinion, as your signature states Wink


Edited by BaldJean - May 28 2008 at 12:24

A shot of me as High Priestess of Gaia during our fall festival.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2008 at 10:22
Ah, fantastic news, been waiting for this one. Took me a long long time to get my head 'round Feathers for Flesh not really sure why. Looking forward to the review.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2008 at 23:31
their last album wasn't bad. i'll probably get this one too...though i'm not entirely convinced yet :D
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 01 2008 at 16:34
RED MASQUE, THE — Fossil Eyes
Review by avestin (Assaf Vestin)
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— First review of this album —

3%20stars 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

Report this review (#172745) | Posted Saturday, May 31, 2008, 22:19 EST
Review Permanent link | Submit a review for this album

 

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 02 2008 at 13:17
Hi Avestin
Thanks for taking the time to listen to our new album and post your thoughts.
 
Also for those interested here is the official announcement about the new album:
 

The Red Masque’s new album Fossil Eyes to be released late June through RER USA
The Red Masque have signed with progressive label RER USA (www.rerusa.com) and will be releasing their new album, Fossil Eyes, in late June 2008 through RER USA's own label Ad Hoc Records. RER USA was founded in 2003 by David Kerman as the exclusive North American distributor of the English label, ReR Megacorp, a twenty five year old company that defines the vanguard of experimental, progressive, interesting and genre-defying music. The Red Masque expect to have the new album available at the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARFest) from June 20-22 at the RER USA vending booth for purchase. Member of the band will be on hand to sign copies. Fossil Eyes will be available through RER USA's webstore by late June. More details forthcoming....

We will also have some show announcements and other news in the next week or so, and we have recently updated our website with a much needed overhaul. Please stop by and visit! www.theredmasque.com

Thank you,
The Red Masque

 

The Red Masque | theredmasque.com | myspace.com/myredmasque

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 04 2008 at 00:13
Hey, you guys are playing at the black lodge soon right? i'm there!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2008 at 10:59
Hello,
I just wanted to let you guys/gals know, that if you are showing up to Nearfest, we are giving out free videos (while supplies last) to the first people who purchase a copy of the new album. Info below. And yes, we will be playing a gig Wednesday in Philly. Hope to see some of you there :)
Lynnette
 

NEW ALBUM AT NEARFEST!

The Red Masque will be premiering their new album, Fossil Eyes on the 20th, starting with a debut at the North East Art Rock Festival (NEAR Fest, http://www.nearfest.com). The band is currently signed with RER USA and the album is part of RER USA’s AdHoc label. The CD will be available at the RER USA vending table in the Black Box room of the venue. Members of the band will be by the vending room in order to autograph copies of Fossil Eyes, or greet fans. After the festival, the album will be available for purchase through the RER USA website. Other distributors, including Squidco, will be announced soon.

 FREE VIDEO!

The band is also collaborating with filmmaker David Pym on a video for "The Spider is the Web," the first song on Fossil Eyes, and will have some free promotional copies of the video to pass out at the fest. The video features animations by Pym based off of illustrations by vocalist Lynnette Shelley. These videos will be available in a limited quantity and available for FREE to the first people who buy copies of the album at Nearfest (until supplies of the DVD run out). After the festival is over, the band will make the video available online, most likely through Youtube.com. Details TBA.

SHOW THIS WEDNESDAY!

The Red Masque will be performing at the Black Lodge in Philadelphia with Texas Zeuhl Band, Corima, on June 18th. For more info about this event, please visit our schedule page at http://www.theredmasque.com/shows.html. For those of you who may be attending NEAR Fest in Bethlehem a little later that week, and are arriving into town early, Philadelphia is an hour and 10 minute drive from Bethlehem, and it might be a nice chance to see two unconventional progressive acts in an intimate venue.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2008 at 12:31
I wish Jean and I could go, but it is a bit far. Cry

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2008 at 14:05
Originally posted by BaldJean

Originally posted by Pnoom!

Definitely on my wishlist.

I am a bit surprised they are only on your wishlist in your opinion, as your signature states Wink


Haha.  My signature is just a reminder to people who take me far too seriously on everything and thus get offended when I state my opinions as fact.

I would change it to be more accurate, but then it wouldn't rhyme. Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2008 at 22:06
Anyone else heard this album?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2008 at 11:28
Originally posted by avestin

Anyone else heard this album?
 
Maybe now? Smile
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2008 at 19:45
For anyone who may be interested, DJ Debbie Sears of the Prog Rock Diner (www.progrockdiner.com) interviewed the band at NEAR FEST 2008 in June and the interview is now online at her site. Go to http://www.progrockdiner.com/RedMasqueIntJun08.wma to listen to the interview. In it, the band talks about the making of Fossil Eyes, amongst other things.

Lynnette
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 22 2008 at 21:01
I just got word from RER USA that Fossil Eyes will be officially released on August 11. See www.rerusa.com for purchasing info.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2008 at 22:53
Free Previews of The Red Masque's New Album Now Available

The Red Masque's new album Fossil Eyes is now for sale through rerusa.com. Direct link: http://www.rerusa.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=RERUSA&Product_Code=7607

We have just uploaded samples of the songs on our website for anyone interested.

Go here: http://theredmasque.com/fossil-eyes.html
We should be able to upload some of the samples onto Myspace within the next couple of days.

We are currently working on booking some live shows, but at this time we have confirmed that we will be playing a Halloween show at Orion Sound Studios in Baltimore on Nov. 1 with Thee Maximalists.

Thanks!
The Red Masque
www.theredmasque.com

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2008 at 20:39
Some more updates on Fossil Eyes:


The Red Masque's new album, Fossil Eyes, released August 12th through RER USA (http://www.rerusa.com), is now being distributed by Wayside Music (http://www.waysidemusic.com) and SquidCo. (http://www.squidco.com). Other distributors to follow.


Listen to sound samples from the album online at http://theredmasque.com/fossil-eyes.html

New Reviews below

SquidCo.

Marrying chamber rock prowess with heavy crimson-cow-esque drama and power, The Red Masque create a complex journey through 11 songs. The band is technically impressive and studio savvy, as it shows through the use of effects, sudden but sensical transitions, and just plain interesting and well crafted songs. Lynnette Shelley's vocals are authoritative, though make take a bit to get used to: she's powerful and articulate, with an accent that would work well for both Lydia Lunch and on a Zappa doo-wop. Red Masque is, no doubt, thick, heavy rock, in a similar vein to Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, but without that band's uniquely twisted sense of humor. This is serious stuff, with a resolute focus on the music itself. And that makes for a release that rewards and reveals itself more with each listen.

:: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Wayside Music

Fourth album for this band. They manage to sound rough-hewn in an attractive way, while executing some pretty interesting/complex musical maneuvers in a way similar to The Work, although they don't sound like them. I found parts of this reminiscent of Art Bears, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Maudlin of the Well among others, but they never actually sound like any of these bands either.

UPCOMING SHOWS

The Red Masque also have two upcoming shows confirmed, with more to follow:

09.22.08 | The Balcony at the Trocadero, 1003 Arch Street, Philadelphia; 215.922.LIVE. 10 PM. FREE Admission, 21-plus. Monday Night Club With David E. Williams, The Red Masque and friends. More info to come.

11.01.08 | Orion Sound Studios, 2903 Whittington Ave Suite C, Baltimore, MD 21230. Halloween gig with Thee Maximalists. 8 PM. All Ages.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2008 at 09:24
I posted an interview with The Red Masque here:
 
 
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