woensdag 26 april 2023

Mars Red Sky - Mars Red Sky & Queen Of The Meadow



Mars Red Sky - Mars Red Sky & Queen Of The Meadow
Mrs Red Sound / Vicious Circle Records – 2023
Rock, Stoner, Doom, Folk, Psych
Rated: ****

Turning a doom and dark folk corner is Mars Red Sky with their collaboration with Queen of The Meadow. A partnership that is not at all strange, seeing as Mars Red Sky’s guitarist Julien Pras was always there to lend his guitar to the Queen and to let the voice behind Queen of The Meadow, Helen Ferguson, shine and enchant, and do her dark faerie, misty folk magic. And even though Mars Red Sky has always been masters in telling their story, cinematically and atmospherically, with the addition of Helen Ferguson’s voice, it manages to turn their combined narration into an ominous fantasy story. You will see in all detail the sleeping villages, rolling out across the glades before the maze takes over the entire landscape beneath the dark tower, with all its twisting staircases and bizarre turns. On her solo records Queen of The Meadow always had the ability to make you feel the dark clouds moving over head as well as those rays of light that might shine through, sober orchestrated songs and her more lavish folk songs intertwined to paint her dark folk tapestries. This time you feel the dew drops and the mist stick to your skin, due to the way her slightly masked singing and the way the guitar seems to drip behind it all. There is another side of the coin though, where you will experience moments of sweat running down your spine as a shimmering heat surrounds you. And they manage to tell their story with only two tracks, and one shorter version of the opening track. The way Maps Of Inferno starts to surge around you, as if you are in the eye of the storm, a fiery maelstrom consuming all around you, when that middle part hits, otherworldly wonderful. And then the vocals pick up again, spellbinding and a kind of widescreen experience that conjures up a convincing world and a slow treacle moving stream of doom lava. Second track Out At Large, feels less dense and less dangerous, thanks to a bit more air for the instruments, as well the vocals that are more soaring and keep climbing to syrupy heights. Radiant, the Queen does not shy away from taking center stage here and much of the song seems to be there to almost fulfill a stoner and doom chamber orchestra background. But even then, the Mars Red Sky three manage to remain mountainous and a looming shadow growing ever taller as the song goes on. The two tracks combined tell a magnificent story with every kind of color, movement, and greatness… Mars Red Sky & Queen of The Meadow, a match made in fire!

(Written by JK)




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