Album Review: Vox Empirea

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vox empirea


Red Sun Revival – “Running From The Dawn” 

By Maxymox, Dec 2012

Extrapolating the best proposals offered in this 2012 from the gothic-rock scene, the choice of Vox Empirea inevitably falls on the Londoners Red Sun Revival, power-quartet composed in 2011 by the following musicians with tuba-hat, dressed like in the late nineteenth century and all them in the possession of important artistic curriculum:

Rob Leydon (vox/programming/clean-guitar/recording engineer) has constructive militancy as guitarist in various projects stylistically oriented towards the same music gender, like Voices of Masada, which Rob is also co-founder, The Eden House , Adoration and Nosferatu.

Matt Helm (guitar) offered his admirable ability of arpeggio in Pretentious, Moi?, an English gothic-rock design interpreter in 2010 of an excellent debut self-titled album and that I had the honor of reviewing more than positively.

The Greek Panos Theodoropoulos (bass guitar) has always shown an innate versatility developing in the past its tactics in numerous Hellenic underground bands, while currently, as well as in Red Sun Revival, he is incorporated in the line-up of RottViolent, ensemble dedicated to the hard-rock genre.

Christina Emery (violin), was the keyboardist of the elektro-platform named Future Frenetic, she has built around himself over the years a solid reputation maneuvering her instrument in the past as today with admirable expertise, able to insert in the structures capturing registers processed in perfect harmony with the guitar textures.

The interaction between these minds could only create a work of strong resonance and valor, characteristics distinctly perceptible in this debut album released by the famous German label Afmusic. “Running From The Dawn” is full-length in which preparation are involved some important names, in particularly those belonging to DeWray Louis, vocalist of the cited project Nosferatu, whom has effectively supervised as a vocal-engineer the revelant chant sections at the Earth Terminal Studios, as well as Stephen Carey, active at the Stanton Manor Studio well as creator of the projects The Eden House, member of the NFD and This Burning Effigy, masterly mixed the sound sources, while the delicate mastering stage is carried out none other than Andrew (Andy) Jackson, a famous producer and record engineer for Pink Floyd and Fields Of The Nephilim’s albums, well as holder of the Tube Mastering Studio.

The golden list of credits continues mentioning Ilona Jurgiel, professional doll-maker and photographer at the Lightpainted Doll whom has designed the digipak artwork, continuing citing finally the collaboration by the guest-violinist Bob Loveday, a member coming from the band headed by the mastermind Bob Geldof.

The technical team and the band, both creators of this “Running From The Dawn”, they’ve succeeded therefore producing an album entirely full of charming, melancholic gothic-minded ancestors, a work elevated on high listening parameters so highest to distinguish itself brightly in its area of competence, all this by an amazing, marvelous chant-metric, always full of speen and great expressiveness, together with a perfect instrumental form engineered with impeccable knowledge. “Running From The Dawn” inserts in its tracklist a diadem composed by nine priceless sonic-gems that start from “My Child”, a beautiful gothic-rock in which every moment is filled of charm and decadence, a perception fervent by the pleading Rob’s vocals whose deep and hoarse singing timbre surround with penetrating intensity the uptempo drumming, the fine embroideries of the guitars, the pulsating bass-line and the romantic spatiality widespread from the keyboard. The violin maneuvers are harmonics flights that enrich the course of the next and namesake “Running From The Dawn”, the track that expands the traditional gothic concept inserting into it, in addition to the ashy color reflected by the chant, also an instrumental look filled of rasserenate atmospheres melodiously composed by a delicate programming embroidery that is added to the passionate combination between voice, well supported percussiveness, idyllic pinches of guitar and keyboard refinements.

The depressed poetry of the chant added to the rock energy obtained as a result “Lost For Words”, a song that exhibits the cultivated aura of which the music of the Red Sun Revival is holder, a particular again highlighted by the elegant exchanges between the Rob’s pronunciations and the triptych guitar-keyboard-drumming, formulations designed on midtempo base and crossed by the nostalgic scents of the violin played by Christina.

The sadness of “Last Chance” is written through the downcasted registers gothic-oriented issued by the vocalist and inserted with great aesthetic sense between the sequencing intermittences, the midtempo drum-machine beats, the fascinating pads, the bass laps driven by Panos and the melancholy emotions evoked by the guitar scales.

The beautiful “Wide Awake”, in the same way, plans a chant that by the refrain it spreads all its irrepressible suffering embracing with infinite transport the emotions aroused by the combination between the faded romanticism of the key-sound and the sparkling decorations of the guitars on the midtempo rhythm, as well as the following “Miracles”, even more charming, overflowing of gothic passion and probably the best episode of the tracklist, entrusts most of its desperation to the chant that Rob lives with inexpressible ardor pronununcing it through heartbroken lyrics which in the refrain they expanding into long reverbs so beautifully capturing, all this declined by a vivid musicality dragged by the bass and by the drum-programming, thickened by the extensions of the keyboard and made even more sentimental by guitar ornaments that run rhythmically in the soul of the song.

“Without You” is like a pure poetry enunciated in front of an autumn sunset, a gothic-rock song full of melancholy voice-shades twirl on the vibrant gait of the midtempo drumming, exhibitions crossed by piano embellishments, persistent key symphonies and suggestive guitar intersections.

Now is the time of “Forgive Us Now”, composition by the strong emotional charge emphasized particularly in the vocals that Rob speaks with saddened tones, wounded by an inconsolable suffering and perfectly integrated into a sad-gothic/rock sound that aggregates into a single module the saddened, electric guitar arpeggio, the drum-programming midtempo and the soft keyboard trails interspersed with poignant violin sections.

A work of similar viscerality could not have wished for a better conclusion: so here’s “Nothing To Hide”, a track swamped by gothic-wave-rock consonances primarily revealed through the vocal foreground speech by Rob as always overflowing with pathos, and then by the instrumental melancholies of guitars and violin on which running the drum beating, the dashed line of sequencing and the warm fluctuations of the keyboard.

Epic release and able to reach the motions of the spirit, an album that will leave admired that phalanx of the public who made of the gothic subculture their lifestyle. The clear affirmation of the Rob Leydon’s voice it imposes with immeasurable effectiveness on the musics, giving them a form culminating in a real inner torment, in regret and in a gloomy season poetry. The band plays each song with commitment, wisdom and concentration, activating every possible refinement aimed to the impeccable complement of a work which, even though subjected to the most severe judgments, immediately shows its superiority over the standard average. The synergy between a pentagram of exceptional consistency and a sound-system technically clean, makes “Running From The Dawn” a work highlighting the relationship between decadence and melody: Red Sun Revival is a great project and it’s fundamental that you know it.

[This is Vox Empirea’s own translation]