Sublime and monstrously droning instrumental bliss is the glue that binds Red Sparowes' debut, At the Soundless Dawn, together at the seams. Thunderous washes of melancholy elevate the music from pop to an operatic soundtrack guided by churning and chugging guitars that swell with desolation. But as opener "Alone and Unaware ..." reaches a crescendo of slowly arching guitars, the foundation crumbles into a soup of samples and grinding white noise. A serpentine pedal steel lays the blueprint for the rest of the recording, slithering through sonic panoramas that billow with darkness. The rumble in "A Brief Moment of Clarity ..." that ebbs into the staccato chamber rock of "Our Happiest Days ..." crashes with a post-rock cadence that pounds from the heart rather than the intellect.
These cascading arrangements are grandiose and dramatic, but not too showy. The unpretentious resonance of "The Soundless Dawn ..." gives Red Sparowes its true appeal.
This kind of dreary and multifaceted majesty isn't standard fare for a group whose combined resume boasts tenure with mismatched noise-rock terrorists Isis, Angel Hair, the VSS and Neurosis. But as birds of a feather, Red Sparowes' humorless tone and massive reach are fodder that could only come from artfully endowed metal heads.
Red Sparowes play the Drunken Unicorn, with Zombi and the Power and the Glory, Tues., Aug. 30. 9 p.m. $8. 736 Ponce de Leon Place. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net.
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