Mar 6

Red Sun Revival – Embers

by Edward, Filed under: Reviews

Red Sun Revival was formed in London in 2011, and consists of vocalist/guitarist Rob Leydon, guitarist Matt Helm, bassist Panos Theodoropoulos, and violinist Christina Emery.   “Embers” is an outstanding follow up to “Running from the Dawn“.   “Embers” superbly complements their earlier work, and confidently drives forward.   On Embers you will find  many of the hallmarks of “Running….“, but even more refined and solid, if that is possible.

Mistakes” begins with a  slightly ethereal tone with a bit of edgy violin that quickly launches into an awesome, full sonic epic.  Rob’s deep, forceful vocals are backed by great orchestral arrangements, energetic rock guitar (vaguely reminiscent of Pink Floyd), and strident percussion.   The song evokes  a spellbinding sense of longing and regret.  I particularly love the guitar juxtaposed  with the orchestral effects  at about three and half minutes, and the way the song fades away eerily in the last half minute or so.

Broken“  starts with a full-bodies sense of sheer power that is almost tribal.  This is able balanced with guitar with a sharp, fine tone that brings ’80′s post punk to mind.  Percussion is inexorable and strong.  The bass is just magnificent, in many ways driving  the song.   Deep choral backing and dark atmospherics combine to buttress Rob’s strong, yet edgy vocals.

The opening keyboards on “Surrender” are poignant and moving.  The bass emerges early in the song, but expertly gives rein to very Gothic atmospherics that swell forth and resonate grandly with militaristic percussion and full-bodied backing accompaniments.  Violin is expertly understated, and rises along with the vocals.  Vocals are low and rough, bringing Fields of the Nephilim to mind.  Jangly guitar gives a post-punk vibe, as the bass hovers underneath, nearly, but not quite imperceptible as in a dream   Layered vocals lend an unearthly air, followed by a short piano interlude.  The song ends with  a wonderful orchestral flourish

Embers“  is slower and more dramatic, with excellent Cure-esque guitar and languid vocals that remind me a bit of  early Ikon.  Bass is prominent and staccato, but not overpowering.  Synth adds a nice forlorn touch, heightened by poignant violin as the vocals turn regretful and pensive.  The music rises to a gripping crescendo, then lingers languidly and melodically, sounding  introspective  and stoic.    The music draws to a close, leaving a reflective sense that lingers long after the last note has faded.  This is the perfect song to end a great EP.

The “Embers“  EP has the same outstanding production values as “Running...” with  an amazing fullness of sound that engulfs the listener without sounding pretentious or overblown.  All the elements of the music are superbly constructed and mesh together well.     Both music and lyrics are complex and utterly compelling.    As my other reviews indicate, I am stickler for lyrics. I consider them to be just as crucial as the music, and Red Sun Revival delivers  some truly fine lyrical content.  But more important than even the technical excellence, “Embers” is a marvelously  captivating work that is vibrant and evocative.  I love the way that the brash rock guitar balances the dark vocals and atmospherics,  admirably avoiding the monotonous  layers of fuzzy-doomyness that seem to characterize so many Gothic related bands.

Red Sun Revival  skirts the tricky musical precipices with ease,  close enough to send echoes of traditional Gothic  resounding back across the  void to the listener,  but  navigating the terrain with great dexterity while incorporating a wide range of influences.   Once again, Red Sun Revival  charts  a course that is quite refreshing and relevant. “Embers“  will not only appeal to fans of Gothic music,  but to anyone who enjoys satisfying music with an  edge.  Red Sun Revival is truly a band for  the 21st century.  I greatly look forward to Red Sun Revival’s full length album coming out later this year!


http://redsunrevival.com/

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