RISHLOO – Living As Ghosts With Buildings As Teeth (2014)
“Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth” is the intriguing title of the new album by the completely independent US progressive band known as RISHLOO.
It also marks their return into the scene, as hortly after the release of their third record, singer Andrew Mailloux – who also happens to be one of their greatest asset, decided to part ways with the band.
Though Rishloo tried to carry on as a solely instrumental group, it wasn’t long before Andrew reunited with the rest of the guys because they all knew that they weren’t finished yet. According to the band, “Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth” was a record that they had to get out of their system and too right this claim was.
Over the course of the last five years, the band spent time improving their overall musicianship, songwriting abilities and chemistry as a group. In addition to this, seems Andrew’s vocals can’t get any better, with a powerful performance and a personal register.
Rishloo is progressive, yet not in the typical way.
Their style is a rather eclectic sort of half-light, half-metal prog, mixing melodies into a special blend. There’s not influences from classic prog, nor the regular prog metal affair.
I hear some seventies Queen feel on their music, but developed in a modern approach like recent excellent newcomers Jono did last year. Rishloo tries to improve the ‘progressive sense’, but always focused in the melody and the ‘song’ as such.
Showcasing their more rocking side in the first half, the record is sure to suck the listener in right off the bat. In “The Great Rain Beattle” their increased musicianship shows with fantastic guitar and more involving bass and percussion as well as Andrew’s voice showing off great dexterity.
Then later, “Dark Charade” proves to be where everyone in the band truly shines. With a more subdued introduction, it serves as the calm before the storm, using a softer side in the beginning and a more ambient interlude, but once the four minute mark comes along the payoff begins to show. After a catchy guitar hook, it turns into the most thrilling song on the record as it builds to a number of awesome climaxes.
However, make no mistake that the two songs sandwiched in between them also pull no punches. “Landmines” features more of the exemplary guitar work seen in the first track, but also happens to be a more lyrically engrossing one.
In addition to this, “Landmines” is another composition that swells to an epic climax in the final minutes, and “Dead Rope Machine” is no exception too. Boasting Rishloo’s atmospheric side quite well, the greatness in “Dead Rope Machine” lays in Andrew’s powerful delivery and emotional impact in the final minutes. Coupled with soaring instrumentals and an amazing falsetto adding some extra terrain at the end, this track will make the listener’s jaw drop.
On the second half, “Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth” puts a particularly strong emphasis on lighter tones and greatly succeeds in creating a natural contrast with some of the heavier aspects of the beginning.
For example, the first 2:30 of “Dark Charade” are beautiful to say the least and build nicely to the second half of the song. As well, the chord structure in closer “Just a Ride” is brilliant.
The album also has its fair share of great guitar arrangements out of David Gillett. The intro to “Winslow” is one of the albums highlights, as well as the splintering solo near the end of the song.
“Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth” is beautiful melodic at times while thrilling at others and despite some few minor inconsistencies, it holds out as one of the most original albums of the 2014 year in progressive rock music.
Remember, this is not ‘Prog’ as genre, it’s progressive rock. Name this crossover prog if you want. Rishloo’s unique combination of styles and ambitious sense of song structures is what makes this band quite different and interesting.
I would highly recommend checking out this album and listening to it more than once as it may tend to grow on you over time.
01 – The Great Rain Beatle
02 – Landmines
03 – Dead Rope Machine
04 – Dark Charade:
05 – Salutations
06 – Radio
07 – Winslow
08 – Just a Ride
Andrew Mailloux – vocals
Dave Gillett – guitar
Sean Rydquist – bass
Jesse Smith – drums
BUY IT !