Surprisingly, this is the first time I’ve really come around to listening to anything from Red Seas Fire. After seeing the name thrown around the internet for the better half of a year, I can now safely say that this band has officially become more than simply “that band Nolly used to be in” in my books. Red Seas Fire’s newest EP, Exposition, is something to throw on when you’re looking for a refresher from all your tech-death prog-djent doom-thrash playlists.
I really can’t classify Red Seas Fire as djent, although they do exhibit djent-esque tactics scattered throughout their compositions, and I don’t think they fit neatly under the prog umbrella comfortably either. In all honesty, I really don’t know what to call these guys other than “fun.” Exposition has it’s moments of technicality, but what makes it an easy listen is the lack of intricacy. This is a perfect gateway album. Have a friend that wants to get into djent and prog but doesn’t know where to start? Give them this album and let them ease into the natural groove of uncovering their inner mathematical and conceptual nerdness.
Although this is a relatively short EP, clocking in at just under twenty minutes, there are still quite a few noteworthy passages. The middle section of “Fortress” gives the first signs of djenty-ness, but doesn’t overdue it to the point of this-sounds-like-everything-else-ness. It’s like getting a great steak with the perfect seasoning. Too much seasoning ruins the natural taste. Not enough seasoning and you’re left with something that leaves room to be desired by your taste buds. There’s just enough djent here to splash the palate while keeping your attention focused on the song as a whole instead of individual instruments pulling ahead of the rest of the band.
“A Life We Used to Know” and “Turner and Hooch” are great examples of less-is-more. There’s not a whole lot of extra layers stacked on top of each other, and the guitar lines are fairly rudimentary, but they still have a certain in-your-face punch to them that keeps the steam rolling. Having the toned down guitar lines lends a lot of room for play with vocal melodies as well, and Robin exploits that play room very well.
The ONLY thing about Exposition that upsets me is that my favorite song, “Of Motion,” also happens to be the shortest one of the four. There’s something about the combination of those emotional vocals, a solid 5/4 beat, and the way the song progresses that wound up seeing this song on repeat in the background for at least a good two hours.
Compositionally speaking, Red Seas Fire is one of the strongest I’ve heard in a while. It’s liberating to hear a band that’s toned down a bit and still able to demand a good hard listen. If you haven’t listened to them yet, I highly suggest you do it now, because if you don’t, you’ll be doing it at some point next year when everyone who doesn’t already know about them finds out about them.
Download the album for free here: http://www.redseasfire.co.uk/