red masque Mythalogue (CD, £12.50)label: Beta-Lactem Ring Records
With the first studio outing in five years from Philly's native avant prog wunderkind, The Red Masque let loose a clarion call of avant prog gravitas to all comers here. Scions to a subterranean continuum of stormy entanglements, the tendrils that entwine on these tenebrous tunes snake out from some very auspicious pods. On 'Mythalogue', they take a page from 'Red'-era King Crimson and another from those that rode the more riff-centric fault lines of the 90's avant prog revival Present, Happy Family, Thinking Plague, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and fire the shredded results out of confetti cannons. Riffs crunch out fevered labyrinths, time signatures create airborne origami and vocalist Lynnette Shelley's supple, full-throated attack seals it with a kiss. This crew have been hoisted on the shoulders of some of Rock In Oppostion's most formidable figures, from their previous studio affair gaining release on Chris Cutler's ReR USA imprint to 'Mythalogue' being mixed by 5uu's/Science Group member and avant prog magi Bob Drake. Little wonder, as the interzone of turbulent energies and high wire conniptions on hand here make plain The Red Masque's heir apparent status to this trajectory. Packaged in a custom full colour book bound gatefold sleeve with a 4 panel CD poster.
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