Album Review: Mars Red Sky – Dawn Of The Dusk

Album Review: Mars Red Sky - Dawn Of The Dusk
Reviewed by Matthew Williams

I’ve been listening to a lot more progressive and post metal bands recently, and the fifth studio effort from French heavy psychedelic stalwarts Mars Red Sky is one that has really, really impressed me, as it’s a genuine conceptual piece of work skilfully designed to take the listener on a journey through shifting, unpredictable and even utterly disconcerting sonic universe.

Brought up on the likes of Sonic Youth and The Jesus Lizard, they are a band who combine a variety of styles, so they are hard to pigeon hole, as their sound is so unique and varied. And this is evident from the word go, with the opener 'Break Even', with the vocal arrangement from Julien Pras being quite a highlight, but the music is powerful, yet subtle, enticing you into their world.

Album Review: Mars Red Sky - Dawn Of The Dusk

'Maps of Inferno' has a gentle, quite serene opening to it, before the formidable music takes control and its has a dreamy mid-section, taking you off into a clearer headspace, all atmospheric, and totally absorbing, with the sound effects really pulling you deeper into their reality. With Jimmy Kinast taking lead vocals on 'The Final Round', is takes a slightly different direction, but doesn’t detract from the quality of the music being played, trippy and hypnotic in parts, formidable in others.

The middle two songs, 'A Choir of Ghosts' and 'Carnival Man' are once again beautifully crafted songs, with 'A Choir..' being my favourite one on the album, as it’s a shorter blast of their talents, showcasing a meandering rhythm from drummer/percussionist Mathieu Gazeau, which I found both appealing and disturbing in equal measure, before you get the haunting melodies of 'Carnival Man' that are layered with a fuzzy warmness that is spellbinding and enthralling.

The final three songs are a trilogy, which begins with the short acoustic number called 'Trap Door' before 'Slow Attack' takes over, with the drones and sound effects from Kinast leading with a worrying effect on the start of the song. You simply have no idea where or what will happen next, but you are quickly reassured from the haunting vocal from Pras and all is well in the world with the softer ending, which leads directly into 'Heavenly Bodies', with its soothing calmness, like being guided up to heaven in a little white fluffy cloud.

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