|Red Sun Revival|
Hailing from England and officially founded in 2011 by the quartet of Rob Leydon (vocals, guitars), Matt Helm (guitars), Panos Theodoropoulos (bass) and Christina Emery (violin), and is a promising new band to the scene and the pages of Gothic Paradise with the release of their debut album. The album was titled Running From The Dawn and contains tracks Rob had been working on for a number of years, but after forming the group in 2011, they took these tracks and honed them to perfection as detailed in the review below. Their style is a solid gothic rock style that fans of Fields of the Nephilim and similar bands will love.
With the release of their debut work, the band started to play a few live shows and continued working on more material. In 2014 they pulled together a short EP and created another video. The band continued to work hard and in 2015 we have another great album in the form of Identities. With these four talented musicians and these two albums and EP under their belt, I think they show a lot of promise for many, many more great works and years to come. Each one is certainly welcome and will be enjoyed on the pages and airwaves of Gothic Paradise.
Identities - Review
With so much music continually being released and launched through the digital airwaves, it's incredibly hard to keep up with everything coming out each new week. So it was with great pleasure and excitement that I received word of this new album being release from this band. From the minute I started listening I knew we had another gem on our hands with this work. Spanning ten tracks, we get a nice taste of their soundtrack-infused style of gothic rock sounds that drip emotion with every vocal, note and beat.
From start to finish on this disc we're graced with one mesmerizing piece after another. As all the different elements come together with a very diverse sound we are presented with soft piano, haunting violin, soaring guitars, various subtle electronic synths as well as the solid bass and moving percussion. Some tracks sound like they are excerpts from movie soundtracks while others take on more of a defnite classic gothic rock sound and style. Always presented with the haunting mix of music to provide the backdrop for the emotionally charged vocals and thought-provoking lyrics. The guitar work coupled with violins and other synthetic instruments help the music glide and soar right into the listener's soul for a deep, meaningful and at times majestic experience.
The entire album is noteworthy, but a few selections do stand out a bit from the crowd as favorites that listeners may be familiar with on our radio shows. The album starts off in stellar fashion with "Premonition", a solid piece with excellent guitar work coupled with a mixture of the aforementioned styles, elements and instruments. The deep emotional connection that the vocals help to bring on this track is just that added touch to create this masterpiece. The haunting, darker tones of "Echoes" fit perfectly as the album continues and this stands out as another great selection with the solid bass and excellent guitars as the musical tapestry back-drop for the lyrics and vocals. Taking the tempo down a bit, but notching up the overall emotional intensity is the stand out piece "The Reckoning". This is a wonderful moving piece with the slight lilting rhythm formed by subtle, yet solid percussion driving the music composed of an excellent mix of bells, guitars, violin and a myriad of other instruments coming together perfectly. "In Your Name" picks up the intensity and pace a bit more with a moving beat and the inclusion of piano over all the other instruments, especially the solid bass that really gives this piece an edge. "Mistakes (Album Version)" makes an appearance here after being previously released on the 2014 Embers EP. This selection is another solid anchor for this album with the solid symphonic gothic rock style. "The Awakening" brings the album to a close in much the same fashion as it began with another stellar track to close.
This is an exciting album and definitely a recent favorite of mine in this genre. I've listened to a lot of new releases and so many miss the mark, but this band nails it right on the head. If you're looking for some great gothic rock music with a really nice touch of symphonic elements infused in the music, this is a perfect album and one fans can really enjoy.
Running From The Dawn - Review
I'm always on the look out for great gothic rock music in this scene. Lately I've been pleased with a number of great bands, we recently did a special on three of these and then right after that I was presented with this great new album and was immediately pleased with the style and direction of the music. I love the style of the early 90's gothic rock music, but continue to enjoy all the various additions that each new decade brings. Sometimes things grow a bit stale, or coldly bland, so it's nice to go back to some of the roots that have made this scene and musical style so enjoyable in the first place. This nine-track album does just that with each majestic piece.
Overall the first thoughts that come to my mind as I listen to this stellar album is a darker, emotionally driven masterpiece with themes of love, hope, regret, despair and number of other deeply emotional themes. All of that coupled with a nice rock beat, heavy bass, various guitars from a soaring, rock style to more broken, graceful chords coupled with the deep, heavy vocals help to create this powerful music. Several tracks include a soft, subtle violin at times taking a more prominent role along with layers of synthesizers as well. It all kicks off with an instant favorite "My Child" which simply drips with emotion with the angst-ridden vocals and thought-provoking lyrics. One of the key features of this style of music are the emotions that run so deep on each piece, whether they be personal or at a more philosophical level or even focusing on mythology and fantasy which also permeates the scene and just a touch on these pieces.
Favorite pieces really include just about every track on the album, so I'll try and touch on just a few highlights or this will go on way too long. A drummer isn't listed in the lineup, so I'm guess it's all computer or machine drums, but even as such I think they're well done from the break-downs on each track as well as just the selection and solid beats. As previously mentioned, the violin is a very nice addition, especially with a live violinist. It really takes a prominent role on the title track which has an orchestral, soundtrack air to it at the beginning which builds and flows giving way to the rock beat and guitars. On other pieces this live violin coupled with various synths provide an excellent dynamic, bringing out the majestic nature of these emotional pieces. A good solid bass has always been a foundation in the gothic rock scene. On this album it comes out strong, becoming the canvas for the other instruments and vocals to be layered on for the moving, emotional soundscapes. The mix of guitars weave and gracefully create a sound that keeps the listener grounded, a bit of the harsher side of the music amidst all the ethereal pieces previously mentioned in the violin, electronics and synths and they create an excellent medium to help portray the mood and sensitive nature of the lyrics and vocals. The vocals are deep and throaty, almost growling, yet can still be melodic which keeps them in touch with the human, emotional side of this darker, brooding style of music.
There you have it, a great album, definitely a wonderful debut which I think any listener can sit back and imagine what could possibly follow and hope for several more to come in the near future. Don't hesitate to pick this one up.