Amazing 3rd Album by Red Sparowes
Shared Gum | alexandria, va United States | 04/14/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Given that my music player count for this record is up to 10 and that I have heard Red Sparowes perform this album live in concert, I thought that enough time has passed for me to give this a proper review.
"Fear" surely is a different album from their previous two full length releases, but it does not disappoint. It's quite the opposite as it makes me want to listen to it constantly, which is the case with their other albums.
It is not as heavy as their previous releases, but there are still some nice heavy riffs that come in from time to time. The songs may not sound as "epic" but repeated listens have revealed more and more to me each time, and it is hard for me to pick one favorite song. The production here is excellent, and each individual instrument comes through clearly, while blending in with the rest of the band.
I will focus on the one song that particularly grabbed my attention, and that is A Hail of Bombs. If post-metal bands had radio friendly songs, then this would be as close as they would get. I didn't think that these guys could develop a theme into a song with only 4+ minutes to work with, but they did it, and it is brilliant. The heavy riff in the middle would be one of those "epic" moments in that it is such a simple melody, but how they get there is part of the fun.
This album is similar to their previous albums in that it is hard to distinguish songs from one another. And I mean this in the most positive way, as songs reveal themselves differently to me each time depending on the mood that I am in.
This is so far the album of the year for me."
Immersible, but lacks something
Kit Kitsch | 04/06/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Red Sparowes "Every Red Heart Shines Towards The Red Sun" wasn't something I'd normally listen to. As a avid metal fan, post-rock doesn't really catch my fancy. After a friend introduced me to Russian Circles, a band which I liked, I decided to give the aforementioned Red Sparowes album a try. I was pleasantly surprised at how incredible the album was. It was, in every right, an epic of an album. So when I heard Red Sparowes had a new album coming out, I got it without hesitation, especially after waiting 4 whole years.
My expectations were incredibly high, and maybe that's why I didn't feel the same about The Fear is Excruciating as I did about Every Red Heart. There's a lot to like about this album though.
It has a lot of the same elements as Every Red Heart and sounds like it has better production value. The sound-scape style is still there and every song seems genuine in it's own right. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect. It has the mellow acoustics and booming drums that were present before. The biggest difference in the overall sound is just the production basically. It's good that they stayed true to their sound, and I definitely enjoyed the album.
Here's where I felt like the album fell a little short. I think the best way to describe it is it just lacks that 3rd or 4th gear the band went into in Every Red Heart. Every song had them building on simple sounds which led to an epic climax in the song. This album lacks that climax. It's a bit softer and always seems to be scaling the summit in terms of the climax, but it's almost as if they never quite reach it. It's almost like a tease. And in some songs, they'll reach the 2nd gear, so to speak, and you just feel like it could a lot farther, but it doesn't.
The Fear is Excruciating is a very solid release, not in the same league as their previous one, but solid nonetheless. If you are a fan of post-rock like Explosions in the Sky or Russian Circles, this is a worthy addition to your collection. Just don't go expecting another Every Red Heart.
Best songs? A Hail of Bombs, A Swarm and As Each End Looms and Subsides are a few good ones, but really the album, like most instrumental post-rock albums, is best listened to from start to finish."
Best of the best
Paul Ebert | 06/10/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this brand of music and this album may be the best I've heard from this genre. There are some amazingly good songs on this album. What I like about the Red Sparowes is their ability to keep your interest with the music the first time you listen to it. They give you hints it's about to kick in and rock, but they draw it out ... patience, patience, then ... ear candy."