- Band Info/Introduction
Greg Burns – Bass guitar, Pedal Steel
David Clifford – Drums
Josh Graham – Guitar, Keyboards
Bryant Clifford Meyer – Guitar, Organ, Piano
Andy Arahood – Guitar
Red Sparowes hail from Los Angelos, formed in 2003 by guitarist Clifford Meyeted, bassist/pedal steel player Greg Burns, guitarist Josh Graham, bassist/guitarist Jeff Caxide and drummer Dana Berkowitz. This band (mainly) has members from two important bands in the post-rock/metal genre: Isis and Neurosis.
The genre is mostly known for the implementation of experimental and usually instrumental songs which encapsulates various moods, most noticeably dark/spacey/melodic/agonizing/sad musical aspects. Red Sparowes are one of the leading bands of the genre which is expanding by day but still hasn’t reached the breaking point.
This band is recommended to (not only) fans of Isis, Russian Circles, Pelican, Caspian,etc. All fans of atmospheric, melodic, experimental, and sludge metal should know more about this band for sure.
- Album Info
Released on: September 16th 2006 by Neurot Recordings
This is a concept album which is based on a true story of a social/economical plan (The Great Leap Forward) in China gone terribly wrong. It was set in 1958 and the objective of the plan (led by Mao Zedong) and one of the plans was to kill millions of sparrows (Grey birds who are seed/small insects eaters). They thought this would boost the crops because the sparrows ate too many seeds that were planted by the farmers BUT the sparrows loved to eat locusts therefore with along with the killing of sparrows came the uprising of locusts destroying the entire crops which caused (along with other steps in the plan) famine and eventually the death of millions of people.
The first thing that strikes the listener here is in fact the visual aspect: long titles such as “Like the Howling Glory of the Darkest Winds, This Voice Was Thunderous and the Words Holy, Tangling Their Way Around Our Hearts and Clutching Our Innocent Awe” compensates the absence of lyrics. As for the musical part, I do have a small remark concerning the mixing of the drums which seemed “lame” by comparison to the other equipments. That doesn’t effect the overall sound since the drum patterns are quite basic and mostly unremarkable, although their absence would surely kill the mellow aspect of the this type of music.
As for the guitars, they do most of the work with these magnificent musical layers and all kinds of atmospheric effects, mainly using a Pedal Steel and the Reverb effect. There are few noticeable solos involved but that ain’t that important in the song structure approached by the band. The bass work is rather essential for the Rythm section and I personally like it although it’s not that stressed as in entirely focused on.
Marking specific highlights of the album is certainly out of reach here but I’ll just lead point out the essential stuff such as the tense parts in “The Great Leap…” (Check the full song titles here) or the exquisite interludes in “We Stood Transfixed…” !! The epic buildup from the 7th minute to the 9th minute of “Like The Howling Glory…” is just amazing with it’s captivating mood full of crescendos and roller-coasters, quite opposite to the mellow post-rock feel of “A Message Of Avarice Rained Down…”.
The only song under 7 minutes is “And by Our Own Hand…” which runs at 1:46 minutes and is basically the moment of death for the sparrows, a sad calm scene… My favorite song must be “Millions Starved and Became Skinnier and Skinnier…” since it keeps a certain level of energy and atmosphere, perhaps most fit to the moment of starvation of the people, a feeling of death, anger, frustration and loss of hope.
P.S: I should mention that the final song on the album is officially declared as an 8 minute song BUT my version is a 45 minute song! There are no official documents to back me up but I have found other people who stated this fact online, so that actually is quite weird.
I hope some of these “directions” will help you in becoming a fan of the band and the genre. Below you will find more useful information; do visit these links and support the band if possible.
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