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Mars Red Sky - Stranded In Arcadia

Mars Red Sky
Stranded In Arcadia
by Daniel Fox at 08 April 2014, 2:47 AM

It is unfortunate that when most rock and metal fans think of France and heavy music, they can only name GOJIRA (my respect to an excellent band, mind you). It is an area of Europe that has much to offer in the ways of art; here we have Psychedelic Rockers MARS RED SKY, drawing from the spookier, less radio-friendly side of LED ZEPPELIN and PINK FLOYD, embellishing it (or roughing it) with no small amount of the classic Stoner fuzz.

"The Light Beyond" is both hypnotic and funereal. The bass and drums are clean, heavy and beautifully-recorded; the guitars are strewn over the mix with heavy reverb, often cutting through the fuzz with eerie, melodic licks. The vocal delivery here (and on the rest of the album) is unique to say the least; almost innocent-sounding, but very much soulful. "Hovering Satellites" is a very strong track, melding together many contrasting riffs and atmospheres in its arrangement and migrating from the groovy, to the fast and heavy, dragged down to a dirge, and brought up to speed with a driving, organic rhythm.

"Circles" became another favorite of mine with its Bluesy roots, immediately through in my face lick after wah-fueled lick. The tasteful delivery of the strongly-poetic lyrics are one of the selling points of this track, the word "Smokey" therein perfectly describing Julien's voice. The instrumentation on this track stands out above a fair few psych bands, MARS RED SKY doing well to demonstrate their prowess. "Seen a Ghost" is another lengthy piece with creatively-composed passages of thick, deliciously-fuzzy riffs arranged into a seeming disarray of discordance and tumbling walls of sound, often permeated by poetic and catchy-but-eerie lyrical delivery.

This band is easily a highlight of my brief glimpses into the Psychedelic spectrum of Rock with meaningful arrangements that overcome the cliché, impenetrable wall of fuzz.

4 Star Rating

1. The Light Beyond
2. Hovering Satellites
3. Holy Mondays
4. Join the Race
5. Arcadia
6. Circles
7. Seen a Ghost
8. Beyond the Light
Julien Pras – Vocals, Guitars
Jimmy Kinast – Bass
Matgaz – Drums
Record Label: Listenable Records


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Edited 05 December 2022

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