Location: Seattle, Washington
Released: December 10, 2014
Genre: Progressive Metal
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: All-Time Favorites
By: Kris Kotlarik
This is the second album to recently be released that has garnered my attention immediately and has kept it over a multitude of listens from start to finish. One of my biggest criterion for albums is whether it has the ability to be listened to from start to finish on a consistent basis, and by most metrics, this album nails it.
Rishloo, the indie prog metallers from the Hipster Sector (read: Pacific Northwest), broke up and then reunited, and we should be thanking our lucky stars for that. The band made it clear on a Reddit AMA that they were far from finished and needed to continue putting out material, and this ranks as their best work to date (although this effort has reignited my interest in their older material; to be continued on a later day).
What makes this album so good is that it carries some of the same elements that many of my favorite albums contain: Great lyricism (ranging from completely surreal to personal experiences), a diverse array of musical styles that flows seamlessly, and a fantastic yet raw vocalist. To be specific about the vocal styles of this band, they are almost exclusively clean, and often airy. The mix is also fantastic and well-balanced.
All of this is showcased on the almost 11-minute “Dark Charade,” which contains lengthy psychedelic sections that would make the likes of Iron Butterfly blush before eventually building a full head of steam that doesn’t slow down. Other all-around gems include “Winslow” and its hard-rocking psychedelia, as well as the progressive and heavy “Landmines.” While I generally have a preference for their heavy material, the lighter stuff is just as good, most notably on “Salutations.”
I would describe this band as a blend of Tool, latter-day Opeth, and (most importantly) that righteous trip from 70’s prog rock bands such as Yes. If that doesn’t sound like a winning combination to you, you’re probably reading the wrong blog.
Overall: Everything that is right with modern prog.