Saturday 20 February 2016

Mars Red Sky - Apex III - Praise For The Burning Soul (Album Review)

Release date: February 29th 2016. Label: Listenable Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Apex III - Praise For The Burning Soul – Tracklisting

1. (Alien grounds)
2. Apex 3
3. The Whinery
4. Mindreader
5. Under the hood
6. Friendly fire
7. Prodigal sun
8. Shot in Providence

Band Members:

Julien Pras (vocals, guitar)
Jimmy Kinast (bass, vocals)
Matgaz (drums)


One of the things that I dig most about Mars Red Sky is their exceptional ability to gel incredibly delicate, mesmeric melodies with such powerful stoner grooves and execute each beautiful track in a way that seems autonomous and visceral. If you enjoyed 2011’s self-titled release or 2014’s ‘Stranded In Arcadia’ then you’re in for a cosmic treat of the highest order. This breath taking record burns bright and slow with the inexorable force of a distant star and produces an experience equal in enthrallment and wonder to witnessing The Aurora Borealis. Whilst getting head. Stoned off your melon.

Intro track, ‘Alien Grounds’ plays like a space age lullaby. It is the soundtrack to the waking aspirations of a star ship’s crew as they emerge from their cryogenic slumber. Fans of Baroness will be drawn in as the music swells slowly into life before bursting into a brazen display of light and colour as ‘Apex III’ prepares the landing thrusters for a harsh landing onto hard rock. The title track serves as a heady appetiser for the banquet of lumbering noise to come, with plenty of hulk-sized offerings to bang your head and spill your pint to such as the crushing ‘Mind Reader’ and ‘The Whinery’.

As it is kind of easier for certain bands to stick to an all-out heavy format, I feel that exploring a more melodic creative energy can often be over-looked when it comes to writing new material. Mars Red Sky show no qualms when it comes to pushing such boundaries in pursuit of a well-rounded and colossal sound. ‘Under The Hood’ and ‘Friendly Fire’ make for bold and intrepid additions to the album; the latter beginning with a kind of Red Right Hand-esque bluesy jaunt that in the blink of an eye becomes an anthemic and emotive explosion of out-right feels. It is an audacious expedition into elating territory that elevates the music and creates a potent dynamic arrangement that really seems to increase the density of the heavier elements in the record.

The soundscape explored on this record is a vast terrain so eclectic in its land mark influences that attempting to list them almost seems to be a superfluous task. Apex III has so much to offer; from spaced-out psychedelia with hints of The Beach Boys and The Beatles to a devastating sonic might reminiscent of Pelican and Russian Circles, as well as a brooding, fuzzed-out nod to Acid King and Electric Wizard. All knitted together with the kind of astute, dynamic expression of Pink Floyd and Rush. All in all, a superb album that I couldn’t resist pre-ordering after the third track.

Favourite track: The Whinery

Words by ThisHariyGuy

Thanks to Mars Red Sky for the promo. Apex III - Praise For The Burning Soul will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Listenable Records from February 29th 2016.