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Red Orchid: Sky Is Falling

Hailing from Washington DC, Red Orchid play modern sounding progressive rock while still retaining their influences of bands like Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Rush and Opeth. The band's sound is slightly melancholic with a whole lot of melody that makes their debut EP Sky Is Falling a real joy to listen to. In the band are Sanmeet Sidhu (vocals, guitar, synth, piano, flute), Tom Dupree (drums) and Steven X (bass, backing vocals).

All band members are good players but it is the multi-instrumentalist Sanmeet Sidhu who is the key ingredient here. His edgy and at times moody guitar, synth and piano are essential to the band's overall sound. He also proves to be an excellent singer at times reminiscent of Steven Wilson and even David Gilmour. The band infuses lots of acoustic guitar with heavier electric riffs creating a wide range in dynamics in many of these songs. Tasteful orchestration is also effective in creating the right mood and Sanmeet's well placed piano motifs add just the right ingredient and give many of these songs a moody and sometimes sorrowful atmosphere, although I would never call this album depressing in any way.

Tasteful acoustic combined with atmospheric electric lead guitar makes the Pink Floyd inspired "Revive" a fine beginning to the album. The soaring vocals harkens back to 70s Floyd and the lead guitar work is riveting before ending with a lone synth and plaintive acoustic guitar. The band blends pop rock and prog in the touching "Walking in the Sky" where piano and layered guitar riffs work nicely and melodic lead guitar fills in the gaps between Sanmeet's vocal lines. One of the album's best tracks is the adventuresome "Sky is Falling" featuring edgy guitar work and killer synths. The band twists and turns going from heavier parts to spacious mellower sections of piano and acoustic guitar. Listen for the outstanding vocal section near the end of the song. "Eclipse" is a very enjoyable but short instrumental with Opeth-like acoustic guitar and moody piano lines. It would have been great to hear what the band could have done with it had it been a little longer. The album ends with the hopeful "Silence Within", a song that contrasts with some of the album's moodier themes but here casts a positive light as Sanmeet sings "Let it rise, let it shine, let our hearts feel. Look inside, see the light, feel the silence within." Musically speaking, get ready for an Obscured By Clouds era Pink Floyd atmosphere of acoustic guitar and Gilmour style vocals mixed with heavier Rush-like segments.

Red Orchid are definitely a band to watch for as they have set the bar high with Sky is Falling. The future does indeed seem bright for this American trio and I highly recommend this EP for all purveyors of melodic progressive rock. Great job guys!

Track Listing:
1. Revive (7:40)
2. Walking in the Sky (6:25)
3. Sky is Falling (7:59)
4. Eclipse (1:23)
5. Silence Within (7:25)

Added: July 12th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2401
Language: english

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