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Apr 21 2014
By: Da_Almighty_Guy Naughty Paw 20407 posts
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[Album Review] Feathergun

4 replies 116 views Edited Apr 21, 2014

Feathergun

 

Album Name: Feathergun

 

Album Artist: Rishloo

 

Release Date: December 7th, 2009

 

Genre: Progressive Rock

 

Label: None/Independent

 

Number of Songs: 11

 

Review Author: Da_Almighty_Guy

 

“Where are you?

I’m lost upon this boulevard

And I’m afraid this plastic mask made room enough

For all of us”

 

Rishloo - Scissorlips

 

Progressive Rock band Rishloo, formed in Seattle, have created a piece of work that does not come around very often in the music industry. Coming from the darker roots of their previous full length release, Eidolon, Rishloo works to reinvent their sound and distance themselves from their darker, rawer past. The end result is an album that contains intrinsic works by all parts of the band.

 

The album kicks off with the track Scissorlips, a track highly reminiscent of the material from Eidolon. The singer, Andrew Mailloux, takes this track and makes it his own, as he does almost all of the tracks on the album. The instrumentation is atmospheric and moody, but Mailloux makes a strong stand right out of the gate and brings great promise to the rest of the album.

 

Followed by Scissorlips is the duo of tracks of Turning Sheep Into Goats and Systematomatic, of which the former plays right into the latter with no break. When compared to the material found on Eidolon, these two tracks are definitely the most similar. Heavy, slightly vulgar, and a jam that will repeat in your head for some time, Turning Sheep Into Goats and Systematomatic are perfect for people looking for a more heavy sound from this album. Like these tracks, the next one, River of Glass, also highlights the similarities between Feathergun and Eidolon within these tracks. This is not a bad thing, but at this point, it seems that Rishloo is struggling to create a new identity or sound with Feathergun.

 

The album then moves into one of the slower songs on the album: Keyhole In The Sky. Like Scissorlips, Mailloux’s vocals take control of the song and show off just how powerful his voice is and how well he can hit many different levels of pitch. Of all the songs so far, this one may stand out the most simply because it is played at a slower pace. Out of all of the tracks so far, Keyhole In The Sky is the most original, but strays from Rishloo’s normally heavy sound, which may disappoint dedicated listeners.

 

"I’m leaving for the road inside my head

With cord in hand and powder breath I stand and wave goodbye

Goodbye…"

 

Rishloo - Downhill

 

Only after Keyhole do we reach something truly original, complex, and beautiful from the album. Downhill is a song that has everything Rishloo is trying to do on this album all in one and pulled off in a beautiful way: the clean, slow guitar sound, the length, the strength of the vocals, the melodic piano solo, and difference between parts of the song. Downhill feels like three different songs thrown into one and mixed in one of the best possible ways. This idea of mixing songs should not come off as a bad thing in words, as Rishloo truly mastered the practice with Downhill, which makes it one of the greatest, if not the greatest, track on the entire album.

 

Following Downhill, we finally reach the title track, Feathergun In The Garden Of The Sun. Similar to Downhill, Feathergun is one of the tracks that can do everything, but instead of variety of sounds found in the previous track, the versatility is found within the musicians themselves. Feathergun is the track on the album where every single instrument is highlighted, and the members of Rishloo are no slouches when it comes to mastering their instruments, which makes the titular track a very easy one to listen to and is a track that can easily introduce a new listener to the band. Following Feathergun is Dreamcatcher, but this song serves only as a transitional piece for the latter part of the album, although it is very peaceful and atmospheric.

 

“We, like marionettes off our strings fling limbs at our passions

And hope to connect with impossible dreams

It’s holding on when nothing feels right, it’s the final, identical,

Severed umbilical breath from a tightening chest as we’re

Holding on”

 

Rishloo – Keyhole In The Sky

 

After finishing the transition, Diamond Eyes begins, and it seems make calls back to Keyhole In The Sky in the way that Mailloux once again shows off his vocal range. However, this song plays much faster than Keyhole and may be more liked by the more dedicated Rishloo fan. Ironically, these two songs, even though they sound so similar and attempt to do the same thing, seem to gather different audiences and listeners. Diamond Eyes is followed by Katsushika, and this is by far the most unique track on the album. Even though Downhill made the original strides in being unique, Katsushika is in a league of its own and feels more reminiscent to a pop song than any other track, and it is a notable listen for this fact.

 

The album finishes off with the hard-hitting Weevil Bride, which attempts to rekindle the heavier sound produced by the earlier tracks like Turning Sheep Into Goats. However, even though it gets the heavier sound of the early tracks down to a tee, Weevil Bride seems to be trying to emulate Downhill more than anything with its clean guitar style and touching lyrics. Becoming the best of the heavy beginning and slower, more touching middle section, Weevil Bride is a fantastic close to the Feathergun album.

 

"She sings oo-oo-oo I’ve been here before

Many years ago, before the war

And it goes on and on and on until you’re gone

And I just need to know if everything is fine and everyone’s

Alright"

 

Rishloo – Weevil Bride

 

Feathergun is an album that partially holds onto its roots from its predecessor, Eidolon, but chooses to branch out in more, interesting ways. Songs like Downhill and Diamond Eyes show how Rishloo has evolved since their first outing, and songs like Turning Sheep Into Goats shows how well they can recreate their past and improve upon it. However, despite these successes, Feathergun is in no way a perfect album. The album seems to highlight advances in their repertoire for only short bursts instead of making a whole song about them. One of the biggest offenders in my eyes was the PAINFULLY short beginning of the epic Downhill, which only lasts about a minute. I find myself listening to that beginning multiple times just to get more of it, and I shouldn’t have to, since Rishloo have the ability to create a song like that. However, maybe these short bursts make you enjoy them more, but Rishloo had a golden opportunity with some of their song sections that were painfully underdeveloped. Also, the album lasts a good 60 minutes or so, making it a bit difficult to sit through in one long listen, which actually helps to hear all of what they do quickly instead of spreading it all out.

 

However, despite these shortcomings, Rishloo has truly created something beautiful. Their ability to touch on some many different forms of Progressive Rock makes Feathergun just a joy to listen to, considering you have the patience and ability to take it all in.

 

Final verdict: 8.5/10 – Fantastic

 

Top Tracks:

  • Downhill
  • Feathergun In The Garden Of The Sun
  • Scissorlips
  • Weevil Bride
  • Turning Sheep Into Goats

 

Feathergun is a prime example of modern Progressive Rock taking advantage of many different sounds, while staying true to their roots. Feathergun also proves that you do not need to be associated with any large label in order to create something beautiful such as this. Feathergun is certainly not re-inventing modern Prog, rather it is a great addition to the already established genre.

 

If you are a fan of Progressive or Hard Rock, I cannot recommend this album more. Mailloux’s vocals are absolutely phenomenal and the instrumentation is just as beautiful: the two complement each other nearly perfectly. I highly recommend you give this a listen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"For the love of loss, we find

For the love of joy, we cry

For the love of growth, we sever

For the love of now, we never

For the love of peace, we kill

For the love of weath, we steal

For the love of difference, confine

For the love of unity, divide

For the love of love, we hate"

 

Rishloo - Scissorlips

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Last Guardian
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Re: [Album Review] Feathergun

[ Edited ]
Apr 21, 2014

TL;DR. Smiley Tongue I gave the 3 songs a quick listen, though. 

I can appreciate the song structures and the sound, but the vocals didn't do the trick for me, unfortunately. 

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Naughty Paw
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Re: [Album Review] Feathergun

Apr 21, 2014

ID-69 wrote:

I can appreciate the song structures and the sound, but the vocals didn't do the trick for me, unfortunately. 


 

I know I didn't post it, but Keyhole In The Sky might have more lyrics that would be up your alley.

 

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Re: [Album Review] Feathergun

[ Edited ]
Apr 22, 2014

Well, I kind of like this band 'cause it vaguely reminded me of Tool. I'll be sure to keep this band in mind, because some albums you need to listen to multiple times before it 'opens' to you, you know.

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Naughty Paw
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Re: [Album Review] Feathergun

Apr 22, 2014

ID-69 wrote:

Well, I kind of like this band 'cause it vaguely reminded me of Tool. I'll be sure to keep this band in mind, because some albums you need to listen to multiple times before it 'opens' to you, you know.


 

Yes, they do have that Tool kind of feel. And to be honest, only 2 songs from Feathergun really clicked with me on a first listen, and those were Scissorlips and Feathergun In The Garden Of The Sun.

 

This band definitely does click. An extra 2 or 3 listens may just be enough to start to really, really enjoy it.

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