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Red Sand: Mirror of Insanity (Reissue)/Gentry

Guitarist Simon Caron's influences include Pink Floyd, Camel, Marillion, IQ and Pendragon. And, boy, do elements of those artists shine through loud and clear in the music of Red Sand — the Canadian band Caron founded in 2003 after several years in the music business. The remastered reissue of 2004's very neo-progressive debut, Mirror of Insanity, hints at what was to come on Gentry. Just as the melancholy vocal passages, soaring guitar and keyboard solos, and moody soundscapes on Mirror of Insanity's four tracks evoke some of the genre's finest moments, the three songs on Gentry (plus one bonus track) expand on those musical themes. Spread out over almost 47 minutes, Gentry includes two songs ("Submissive" and "Very Strange") that each push the 20-minute mark with lush instrumental arrangements and complex themes that somehow don't seem overly long. Vocalist Stéphane Dorval, with his subdued style and precision-like pacing, suits this material well, and the album flows smoothly from start to finish.

Strangely enough, the remastered version of Mirror of Insanity is sonically crisper than Gentry, although the music itself is a cut above the debut. Red Sand offers something a bit different that still doesn't stray too far from traditional neo-prog. That said, despite his obvious soft spot for David Gilmour, Caron also cites B.B. King and Albert Collins as major influences, and his playing occasionally reflects a blues mentality – something you don't often hear in progressive music these days.

Track Listings:
Mirror of Insanity:
1) Blame
2) Children Memory
3) Mirror of Insanity
4) Cradle

1) Submissive
2) Gentry
3) Very Strange
4) The Voice (Bonus Track)

Added: February 28th 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Red Sand Web Site
Hits: 4834
Language: english

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