Published on Monday, 15 June 2015 23:18
Band: Red Sun Revival
Album title: Identities
Release date: 19 June 2015
Label. Echozone/Ressurection Records
03. Four Walls
04. The Reckoning
05. Fade In Time
06. In Your Name
07. Mistakes (Album Version)
08. The Condemned Part I
09. The Condemned Part II
10. The Awakening
When the London based four piece Red Sun Revival released their debut album, Running From The Dawn, in 2012, the gothic rock fans were nothing but mesmerized and hooked by its ethereal emotional melodies, yet very personal and deeply moving songs. I thought that something like that will be hard to repeat, but last year released EP named Embers brought one hell of a promising four tracks where the band showed even more matured compositional skills. Now it's time for bands sophomore full-lenght and all I can say is that I'm blown away by every single element up here made by Rob Leydon, Panos Theodoropoulous, Christina Emery and Matt Helm. Ok, almost all members have more than enough experiences from before as they are known from bands such as Voices Of Masada, Adoration, The Eden House, Pretentious, Moi?, Nosferatu, Clouds By NIght and many others. With Identities the band got even more unique sound, even though the typical gothic rock elements perfected before by The Mission, Nosferatu, The Cure and Fields Of The Nephilim are present all over, but done in such kind of soundtrack-ish style, with pinch of pop like edge in some rhythmic lines, with emotions pouring out with every chord, every beat and every word, I don't believe we ever heard something alike before.
Identities with all of the ten featured songs is as opposed to the debut album written not only by bands mastermind Rob Leydon, this time also bassist Panos Theodoropoulous took a part in the compositional process and the consequence are even more flowing, lush and original soundscapes, even Rob Leydon's voice has almost nothing to do anymore with Carl McCoy. In a way I can go as far and say that if later era Pink Floyd were ever going to make gothic rock then something similar could came up. The sound is often rich and atmospheric thanks to sparkly guitars, gothy synths, some electronics and tenderhearted piano that replenishes the background spiced with some symphonic elements in such a marvelous way, as well the sound of haunting violin played by Christina adds another dimension to the overall picture. The bass lines are well fitted and keep the drive compact, while the solid drums played by Simon Rippin (The Eden House, The Nefilim) add all the dynamics those songs need. Nevertheless everything is crowned by Rob's beautiful, highly emotional and versatile deep voice that leads the listener through those heart breaking melodies and when the angelic gentle female vocals by Christina get into the picture on "The Condemned Part I" everything is simply breathtaking, not to mention some male chants utilized for example in the mournful "Echoes".
It's quite impossible to separate or expose some songs out of the rest, but without doubt the dark atmosphere of before mentioned "Echoes", the emotionally most intense and melancholic "The Reckoning", the irresistible catchy perfection of subtle and quite powerful gem "Fade In Time" and the cinematic floydian ambiances and Gilmour kind of guitar lead on the most unique song up here, "The Condemned Part I", and the piano driven part in "The Condemned Part II" are all something out of this world, a paradise for every goth rocker and not only, for every fan of good authentic melancholy filled and passionate atmospheric music out there. Of course I can't skipp the swirling and rather upbeat melodies of "The Awakening" and the mighty magical haunting sparks on "In Your Name", even the new version of "Mistakes", whose original version we heard last year on the EP Embers, is more intriguing with a new ending. Identities is a collection of songs where everybody can find that little moment which will bring joy and feeling of strenght notwithstanding if the band comes from the gloomier side of music. I can't promise you that you won't shed a tear or two if you are a bit more snivelling kind of person, I must admit that I had a hard time to hold back tears many times, especially when you immerse yourself into their deeply moving balladic song structures decorated with thoughtful and meaningful lyrics which are in some kind of abstract connection with the cover artwork, talking about real life and death questions, sometimes a bit philosophical, but carefully put in a sequence which tells a sort of story through those lines.
As well the production and mix done by The Eden House's Stephen Carey is crystalline and warm, in a way truly superb and adds that little something that those songs deserve. Red Sun Revival have done without any doubt a kind of an album that will for sure become one of the most significant gothic rock releases of the so called third wave of goth rock bands. Identities offers a myriad of amazing moments that flow like a tender warm breeze of the most refined darkness, thus exposing all of its beauty to the one who'll give to this release a careful listen, then I believe that the repeat button will be switched-on for a long time. (For even better understanding of the album please check out the 'song by song' commentary by Rob Leydon over HERE).
Review written by: T.V.