Exposé Online banner

Vermilion — Flattening Mountains and Creating Empires
(Redwood RED-026, 2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-12-01

Flattening Mountains and Creating Empires Cover art

This album is quite an oddity, coming as it does from a little-known (so far) band on an independent label, for it features a big name producer (Steve Albini) and a big name artist on the cover (Roger Dean). Stylistically, it makes me think of a sort of alternate-universe King Crimson who took a different turn after Starless and Bible Black: what if, instead of whittling down to a solely guitar-based band and working towards heavier sounds, they had kept the instrumental variety of the earlier days and got louder? At their most aggressive, Vermilion (yes, that's how they spell it) have all the dissonant, angular crunch of late-90s Crimson, but those passages are offset by quieter moments featuring piano, violin, and trumpet. This band also lacks the sometimes mechanical technical relentlessness of Crimson, presenting a flowing natural style more based on emotional drive than on technical virtuosity. Not that these guys can't play. Their chops are admirably up to the challenging arrangements on the four instrumental tracks that make up the CD. The production is very crisp and live sounding, even though numerous overdubs must have been required. Vermilion are one of the best of the new generation of bands merging the indie-rock sensibilities of the 90s with the prog-rock complexity of the 70s.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 28, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Vermilion

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Platurno - Núcleos – Platurno is a young Chilean progressive rock trio of guitars, keyboards, and drums. Núcleos is their 2006 debut release of 11 mostly instrumental songs. Each song is different, but has a similar...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues