Exposé Online banner

The Red Masque — Mythalogue
(Beta-lactam Ring mt257a, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-09-05

Mythalogue Cover art

The Red Masque's releases up to now have been mixed bags for me, with some tracks I really like and some that I'd just as soon skip. With Mythalogue, they've finally hit the balance of dark progressive, avant, and theatrical vocals that works consistently from start to finish. After a short, creepy ambient introductory track, they slam us with "The Wendigo," an 11 minute epic of jarring odd-meter riffs, floating vocal melodies, and strange organ diversions. Yes, The Red Masque is here, and they mean business! Lyrical themes still tend towards the supernatural, generally on the darker side of moods. As the album title suggests, mythology is the primary inspiration, featuring such titles as "The Song for Icarus," "The Minotaur," and "The Ruins of the Palace of Minos." The lyrics avoid cringeworthy fantasy cliches; I'm occasionaly struck by an overly grand turn of phrase, but not enough to kill my enjoyment. In the past, when The Red Masque has gone off on their more avant tangents, with screaming, spoken word, crashing dissonance, and so on, they've sort of lost steam, giving listeners something to be endured rather than enjoyed. But there's a section of fair length in "The Labyrinth" where they get really out there and I don't mind. They're simply getting better at realizing their intentions. While keyboards make appearances here and there, the arrangements are mostly about the interaction between the bass and guitar, and the bass usually has a grungy overdriven fuzz to it. As "bonus" tracks, we get a live rendition of "Polyphemus" and a short studio recording called "The Hallowed." They are non-essential, but don't detract from the overall quality. Bottom line is, best one yet from this band, and a welcome addition to the Beta-lactam Ring roster.


Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): The Red Masque

More info
http://theredmasque.bandcamp.com/album/mythalogue

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tipographica - Tipographica – While Japan has always had its share of inventive new musics, the recent surge in this area has put the country on the map like never before. With Happy Family, Il Berlione, Ruins, Zypressen,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues