Rishloo – Feathergun Review

Rishloo - Feathergun

Rishloo - Feathergun

Rishloo are a fantastic and utterly underrated modern progressive band from Seattle. They mix pounding rhythmic buildups and vocally led alternative rock styles with progressive attitudes, effects laden guitar sections and virtuosic musical displays, all in a concise and grand manner coupled with particularly intelligent and evocative lyrics.

The band are perhaps most famous for Tool and A Perfect Circle comparisons, but there is a lot more to the band than simply homage to the unique and oft imitated talents of Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Justin Chancellor and Danny Carey (although if you listen carefully, it is easy to pick up on just that; for each member and their specific tones and styles, especially because Rishloo feature rhythmic and emotive vocals that use of lot of long sustained shouts over musical transitions.)

While Rishloo write artistic and creative music suited to fans of progressive rock, the music falls more on the commercial and listenable alternative rock end of the prog spectrum than on the dense, challenging and difficult end. There aren’t twenty-minute songs played at 30bpm full of drills, grotesque film samples and dissonant organs; just intelligent and interesting music written and performed by very talented individuals.

I would urge anyone who is a fan of bands talented and focused like Dredg, Amplifier, The Mars Volta, Coheed And Cambria or The Dear Hunter to try out Rishloo and see if they suit you, chances are you will not be disappointed.

Feather Gun is the band’s third full length studio album and sees an evolution and honing of the band’s sound, moving away (apart from on the brilliant opener ‘Scissorlips’) from easy Tool comparisons and further into a sound that is wholly Rishloo. Additionally, for a band who aren’t particularly well known the production job and performances are absolutely sublime, the album sounds amazing and is a genuine delight to listen to.

For the most part the songs are shorter and lighter than on their second album Eidolon, but still more adventurous, powerful and progressive than on their debut album Terras Fames. Highlights include the faster ‘Systematomatic,’ the cinematic ‘River Of Glass,’ and the excellent mixture of light and shade that is ‘Turning Sheep Into Goats.’ That being said however, the two longer tracks, ‘Downhill’ and ‘Weevil Bride’ are two of the most interesting and intense moments in the band’s entire career and I’d highly recommend that if you have never heard the band but suspect you might like them, you at least try those two songs.

This is the sort of album you can utterly lose yourself in, the sort of album that you don’t listen to absently, you really engage with it, willing it on through its many evocative twists and turns like when it bursts from a serene soft section into distortion and screaming or equally when it is driving forward with real momentum and then suddenly sours and stops almost as if the song were a film and the director chose this point for the main character to suddenly die totally shocking the audience as it cuts to his funeral and taking the story in an unexpected direction. You listen to the songs over and over again and understand or interpret them differently multiple times, discovering new favourite parts on almost every single listen, and sometimes being genuinely taken aback by the sheer emotive weight of the lyric-and-vocal-delivery combo.

In summary; Feather Gun is a brilliant record from a truly underrated band that fans of other modern progressive artists should really explore. All of their albums so far have been strong and Feather Gun is no exception, if you have any interest in Rishloo pick up a copy, you will not be anywhere close to disappointed.

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