|Red Sparowes – The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer
In Illusions Of Order
A Hail of Bombs
Giving Birth To Imagined Saviors
In Every Mind
As Each End Looms and Subsides
If you’re familiar at all with the post-metal genre, Red Sparowes shouldn’t be a surprise to you. But they will be a surprise, for Red Sparowes are a flight above their peers.
While this post-metal formula is fairly well-trodden these days, where Red Sparowes have the advantage is the sheer breadth of their sonic range. There are moments of genuine vulnerability and starry-eyed wonder among the mystical bleakness. Although bleakness isn’t quite the correct word: ‘In Illusions Of Power’ has the same elemental power that characterises Earth’s work; the same feeling of resignation at the inevitable loss wrought by the passage of time. The same unexpected feeling comes from ‘A Swarm’, which sounds absolutely timeless in the same way Pink Floyd does.
Even with menace in the air, like on ‘A Hail Of Bombs’, there is a sense of redemptive relief. The selection of heavy chords, like with Pelican, is such that there is relief at the coming light. But in terms of rapture, there’s not many tracks you’d listen to like ‘Giving Birth To Imagined Saviors’. Equal parts Mogwai, My Bloody Valentine and Isis, it swirls like dust in the dead heat of summer, and is utterly spellbinding.
Once you’ve come to the end of this record, there’s no doubt that something vital and important has come out of your speakers. The power and effectiveness of this album comes not from pounding drums and minor-key power chords, but a confidence in its own abilities to entrance you through delicate passages and keep you listening and affect subtle hues in mood and tempo to keep the listener enraptured until the very end.
Reviewed by Steve Jones
‘The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer’ is out now on Conspiracy