Radius System

Escape / Restart

Written by: PP on 22/08/2008 00:47:44

One of my favorite aspects about experimentalist bands is that in the large majority of cases, you can be pretty certain that the music you're listening to is unique and creative. Derived riffs and rhythms are virtually non-existent in the genre. Radius System, the Paris, France-based act fits into this experimentalist description well with their new album "Escape / Restart".

The band itself says that they sound a little bit like 65daysofstatic and Oceansize, a claim which should immediately result in some drooly lips within the fans of the more alternative, less metal side of the experimentalist genre. Although my knowledge of both bands is limited to a single album respectively, I feel pretty confident in saying that Radius System don't really sound like either, other than the sporadic passage where you make a mental note on who were the influences of the band. Their arrangements usually start out relatively soft, building up slowly to grand finales where more instruments and complex passages are interspersed, and the quiet/loud dynamic is played to the extreme, to achieve a strangely tranquillizing space-rock soundscape. I think the phrase beautifully complicated fits their music well, but especially in the lengthy passages of "Mental Guides", where the listener gets purportedly lost in the magical musical landscape.

Their vocalist has a cunning resemblance to Tool's mastermind Maynard James Keenan at times, exhibiting a similar whisperous croon, occasionally making you wonder if you're listening to Tool during their "Aenima"-era. Vocally only, of course, because instrumentally the band is far more progressive and not as heavy, taking much more time to build up the momentum in each song, which can also be seen at the average song length at around 6 minutes.

Although many of the songs are more than perfect for the late night relaxation sessions, at least for the undersigned there's a certain something lacking from the music. During my active-listening sessions I find much of "Escape / Restart" truly amazing, only to find myself forgetting everything I've heard only hours later. It's this elasticity that keeps me from awarding the otherwise well-written experimentalist album a higher grade.


Download: Mental Guides, Impulsion Pt. 1, Monochrome
For the fans of: Oceansize, Tool, 65daysofstatic
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.05.2008
Lost Children

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