REDSHIFT: Faultline (2004)
“This is an excellent cd that is in the same line as the powerful Ether and Siren”
1 Faultline 15:45
2 Chrysolite 4:29
3 Pyro_gen 14:58
4 Aquamarine 7:03
5 Quenzer 11:19
6 Praetorian 20:42
(DDL 74:16) (V.F.)
(England School, Dark E-Rock)
Recorded during the Hampshire Jam 2, FAULTLINE is the 3rd album of Redshift to have been recorded in 2002, after Siren and Halo. And let's say that faithful to its reputation, the English quartet makes in the heavy. In the very heavy and energetic in front of a salvo of applause from already conquered fans. Always privileging a gloomy sound and a very nocturnal image, it is without surprise that the title-track starts with an atmospheric intro loaded with dark and heavy layers. They roll waves and encircle a pulse that, like a huge beacon of sound increasing its intensity every time it meets our eyes, generates an atmosphere filled of scarlet streaks. Layers of voices get in at the same time as the guitar scratches some notes. And always growing under metallic blades, the pulsations overflow in the purest Redshift tradition to stigmatize this heavy and slow rhythm. A second line of the sequencer escapes and puts itself in a mode runs and zigzags after me if you can under a sound sky lined with solos of a guitar flirting with a psychedelic potion. This heavy and resonant pace lasts near the 5-minute point before the sequencer throws in some clearer keys, playing with a pace that will remain steady up until a breeze filled with shrill wiisshh, and ectoplasmic voices dissolves it. A big track in the Redshift repertoire. Chrysolite takes the finale of Faultline to lay down a sonic flora filled with intriguing tones and sinister sound effects, serving more as a bridge to connect Pyro_gen to the album. It's a flora of percussive elements that makes our eardrums vibrate. Sequences and bass-sequences drip into a gloomy tunnel where Arabian tunes emerge from a synth trapped in echo effects that further amplify this mass of static rhythm. These hazy tunes have a luciferian feel to them that suits the dark aspect of the track that takes off in style a few seconds after the 5th minute. The sequencer makes dribbling its keys even more wildly before the rhythm structure is dominated by a bewitching flute and tamer of sequencer in fury. We are in the middle of Pyro_gen and the flute isolates its charms and leads us to a passage where other arpeggios seem to drip from a non-existent ceiling. They dance while hidden in a corner, the sequencer counts its keys to start again on a structure which needs calm, but which still has a little fuel to burn.
Aquamarine is a track immersed in atmospheres to make uncomfortable with an electric piano that duets with a beautiful mellotron flute. A track of dark ambiences with more disordered passages that leads us to the devious steps of Quenzer. It progresses on heavy pulsations, making well resonant giant steps. The ambiences of a metal melting industry draw the atypical scenery while the rhythm zigzags like a big sly wolf chasing its own shadow. The clouds of industrial fumes rise as the keyboard gets excited on nervous chords and the sequencer has fun playing scissors in this atmospheric texture that takes off after the 4th minute. The wild and steady rhythm is flogged by superb solos of a corrosive guitar inciting the sequencer to run, stumble and dribbling its panicked keys in an ambivalent structure where our eardrums pay for the few moments of respite. Thrilling applause greets the finale as layers of mist and reverberating filaments open Praetorian. These filaments harness mournful twists that bring out the chthonian voices and organ layers from the Redshift bowels. The organ is heavy and murky, even singing a wordless psalm to feed an atmosphere of dread. The winds blow again, as the rumblings of a machine are heard, and heavy pulses rattle the lips of the sneering demonic acrobats waiting in Redshift's lair. The pulsations of this giant sucker have a hypnotic effect, masking this dance of sequenced arpeggios and heavy steps that initiate an awakening that bursts after the 10th minute. The slow and heavy rhythm justifies those solos of Rob Jenkins that have become more demonic than the Moog and its resonant steps of fury. And, just before the 13th minute, Praetorian explodes as only Mark Shreeve's band is capable of in a cartoonish heaviness that still amazes and charms, even after a 6th album full of that legendary Redshift heaviness.
To think that I had already written that FAULTLINE was the swan song of a band that lacked resources. My mind was clearly elsewhere! It was in 2006 and those who know me knew in which state I was. So I make amends by listening again to this album that shows how Redshift was at the top of its form with an intense and heavy album. This is an excellent cd that is in the same line as the powerful Ether and Siren.
Sylvain Lupari (November 16th, 2021) *****
Available at Redshift Bandcamp