In the instrumental post-metal genre, there is Red Sparowes and there is everyone else. Rather than merely relying on the tenants of the post-rock genre and eliminating the vocals like many others, they voice their three-guitar sound with a result that sounds less like a rock band and more like a movie score.
However, the band has experienced something of a brain drain by their third full-length. With only Bryant Clifford Meyer and Greg Burns remaining in the band from their first LP, At The Soundless Dawn, the most recent departure was Josh Graham, who went on to form Storm Of Light.
Whether you can measure the effect is arguable. Red Sparowes’ typically fluid style is on display on the first two tracks (excepting the introductory “Truths Arise”), the hypnotic “In Illusions Of Order” and the surprising “A Hail Of Bombs” which features perhaps their quirkiest hook and also their heaviest breakdown yet.
Other songs are shakier, such as the development beyond the first section of “A Swarm” (reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Meddle”). It’s a transition that makes the song sound like a collection of parts rather than a sum of them. The tempo of the record, which aside from “A Hail Of Bombs” is mostly slow or moderate, gets tiresome by the end as well.
It’s easy to nitpick at the climax-loving instrumetal genre and one of its finest progenitor’s latest, but The Fear Is Excruciating stands as an imperfect but still exceptional full-length.
In A Word: Aeronautic