Mars Red Sky – Stranded in Arcadia

Rating

I must be Facebook friends with someone in this French outfit, cuz I remember getting a request to “like” ’em a little while back, well before this album came out.  Let me just say, I like ’em a lot.  Mars Red Sky take a more melodic approach to stoner rock, still fuzzy but not fuzzed-out, with some light ‘n airy psychedelic riffage to spare.  You’d never figure they’re from France!

“The Light Beyond” kicks this one off with eight minutes of spacey sludge, overdriven vocals soaring above the mix.  We get one early bass solo, before they toss in a little wah on a groovy verse that leaves a pleasant aftertaste.  Sleep and YOB come to mind, but these guys have got a lighter touch.  Most of the other songs hover around the five minute mark, but that’s not to take away from their trippiness.  “Hovering Satellites” almost sounds like it has female vocals—I’m pretty sure that’s a guy, but I’m still getting some Witch Mountain vibes.

Speaking of female-fronted outfits, the bassline to “Join the Race” sounds an awful lot like Blood Ceremony’s “Return to Forever,” but to be fair, so do a lot of other doom tunes.  Occult rock, this is not—its sweet, syrupy vocals create more soothing than dread. Then again, when I think about it, they also sound a bit like Ghost’s Papa Emeritus…

The record gets bogged down a bit towards the middle, but “Circles” gets back into the groove with a tasty riff that would make Fu Manchu proud, while “Seen a Ghost” sorta sounds like a doomier version of one, if ya catch my drift.  And those vocals, man… how does his voice get so high!?

Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

7.5 Rating