Red Seas Fire
9th March 2015 – Self-released
02. Blood Bank
03. The Mistakes We Make
04. Ocean Death
As a great man once said, I love it when a plan comes together. Resolution is the third and final piece of a puzzle that Red Seas Fire started to lay down in 2013 with the Exposition EP. They followed this up in 2014 with Confrontation, which represented a step forward for the band on pretty much every front – and this is a feat they have now repeated with Resolution.
The band’s strategy of recording and releasing three EPs in relatively quick succession (albeit not quite as quickly as they might have first envisioned) was already proving to be a masterstroke on the release of Confrontation, but Resolution showcases a band that has matured considerably since the start of the process.
Red Seas Fire have continued to develop their sound away from the overtly tech metal overtures of their history as a five piece, focussing more on the songwriting and developing a neat line in properly lip-curling riffs. However, there are still plenty of deft and clever little flourishes peppered throughout the EP that will keep hardened tech-heads satisfied – but more of that in a moment.
Interestingly, Resolution contains both the shortest and the longest tracks of the twelve across these three EPs. Opener “Hourglass” is a tightly focused blast that reaches its conclusion in under two and a half minutes, and is all the more potent for it. Yet at the other end of the spectrum, “The Mistakes We Make” takes in multiple twists and turns through its nearly nine minute runtime without over-staying its welcome.
Lead single “Blood Bank” could well now be seen as the quintessential Red Seas Fire track, neatly incorporating all of the band’s qualities in one easy to swallow package: technical flourishes, a big sing along chorus and a gigantic riff. If you’ve got this far without ever listening to Red Seas Fire, this is the track to start with.
Final track “Ocean Death” starts quietly before erupting with some remarkably well executed, off-kilter stabbing that messes with the time signature in a manner not dissimilar to the bridge section of “The Gold Room” from Confrontation, albeit with much greater success.
Throughout the EP, Red Seas Fire continue to use additional backing tracks imaginatively, resisting the urge to plop sub drops down at every available opportunity. However, the closest thing there is to a low-point on Resolution is the somewhat overbearing nature of some of this backing on parts of “The Mistakes We Make” - but in the grand scheme of things, it is a minor concern.
In short, Resolution is a triumph. Taken together, the three EPs chart the progress of the band as they find and refine their collective voice. It is a total vindication of a record/release schedule that, had more bands adopted it, would have saved us from many debut full-length releases that sell bands short. Red Seas Fire have developed into a distinctive and genuinely exciting band through this process, and we can only hope that others follow suit. Outstanding.