Uncaged bird 

Red Sparowes
The Fear is Excruciating,
But Therein Lies the Answer
(Sargent House)
with Doomriders
8 p.m. Thursday, April 8
The Social, 407-246-1419

After three years away, L.A. instrumental rockers Red Sparowes reemerge this week with a third album of titanic expression, and their signature, compelling artistry remains untouched.

Their songs are defined by a tectonic sense of movement and an ability to conjure widescreen images of huge, balletic forces of nature moving at three-quarter speed. Whether it comes in serene waves or tsunamic crescendos, the music is oceanic. Unlike more metal-minded peers like Pelican or Russian Circles, Red Sparowes achieve complex depth from purposeful notes, moods and layers rather than overcomplicated musicianship. And then there's the distinctive pedal steel, its spectral Americana sweeps ("A Swarm," "In Every Mind") render the vistas even more cinematic. As is typical with Red Sparowes, the sole intent of each element is to maximize dramatic force.

Unlike previous efforts however, the focus here is more on the song than the overarching album. This lends greater individuality to each composition and makes the record move along like high-impact short stories rather than the contemplative crawl of a novel. But when you're one of post-rock's most cohesive outfits with a mastery of arc like the Sparowes, that means complete instrumental narratives, condensed into each track rather than be compromised.

A voluminous swoon splits open "A Hail of Bombs" like it's parting the sky. Likewise, "A Swarm" interrupts its space-twang drift with a perfect storm. "Giving Birth to Imagined Saviors" begins as a slow, sprawling nighttime symphony that rolls across the land in majestic waves and ends as a towering inferno. "As Each End Looms and Subsides" rides a mounting simmer until it boils over into a heavenly epic.

The Fear is an extraordinarily melodic and impressively grand work from one of the most evocative bands in heavy post-rock. Already a massive sonic experience, expect this new material to expand exponentially live, when paired with fresh updates of their stirring visuals.



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