A friendly warning before relaxing in to this beautifully complicated CD album of great music because getting yourself settled down and comfortable might later prove impossible when it dawns on you that the lyrical subject matter, over the nine tracks, is of a particularly ghastly nature. Of course, I’m only joking but never-the-less the lyrics utilized here within the songs by ‘The Madeline Rust’ are once again centered around violence and murder inasmuch that it is a journey into the mind of one man and the accounts of twenty-one women that come to know him, such inspiration of which was taken from the written notes of experts specializing in the implementation of such dastardly acts.
Musically this is an album full of gorgeous multi- layered textures, firstly in terms of how the various instruments work in partnership and fuse together producing an interesting overall blanket of sound, secondly how the sound is further enhanced with the incredibly lovely, extremely powerful and very melancholy vocals of ‘Lucy Morrow.’ Thirdly that the resultant vibrant haunting effect is further expanded with the addition of the deeply resonant cello of ‘Clara Pascall’ providing a glorious and positively eerie wash of sound. Together these three aspects combine to provide a distinctively unique and totally chilling atmosphere which in turn provides a backdrop for the vocals and further allows the complicated lyrical subject matter to come fully to life.
But of course there is far more to the proceedings than just the basic platform of the haunting background sound outlined above as there are multitudes of clever and beautifully timed lead guitar interjections and on top some wonderful longer guitar runs (especially track 4). The duel lead guitar line-up of ‘Aly McNab’ and ‘Gerallt Ruggiero’ between them conjure up a flotilla of exquisite sounds (in parts reminding me of the kind of stylized sound of Big Country) and together with ‘Lucy’s’ bass lines create a full on ‘no holds barred’ symphony of sound further enhanced with some seemingly complicated drum patterns and great time keeping as the music continually changes pace.
I certainly don’t want to use the term standout in respect to Lucy’s vocals because that would be a disservice to the rest of the band but she does far more with her voice than just sing by projecting it more along the lines of a musical instrument in parts with lots of repeated notes and other vocal somersaults
The backing vocal harmonies, which are far too easy to overlook, are well considered too and also fit snugly into the preverbal blanket of sound adding dimension and much grandeur to the overall sound..
Final Note: Having very much liked MRs previous album ‘Truth or Consequencies’ I wondered how they would approach any subsequent album ideas and I was quite delighted that this project did indeed follow in a similar style to T&C, in a way like a volume two. Whether though a third volume is possible I couldn’t say but there is so much talent in the band, both instrumentally and vocally to expand easily into other areas, furthermore the bands propensity for themed conceptual projects, through obvious research and meaningful reading matter (I suspect?), that a shift even more towards a progressive rock direction could easily be achieved,
Summary: An album full of atmosphere and stunning music from a very unique band. Released on the 3rd September 2017
Cover Art: A very comprehensive package with full detailed track lyrics.
2. Julia’s Love.
3. Beat The Night.
5. Images of Donna.
6. Too Late.
7. Stop Your Heart.
9. Holes In The Sand
The Madeline Rust are
Lucy Morrow (bass and vocals)
Aly McNab (guitar)
Gerallt Ruggiero (guitar)
Martin Syvret (drums).