Agitated Atmosphere: Metal Rouge - Trails

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Metal Rouge.

In the space where the repetitiveness of jams, the fiery noise of psychedelia, and the spontaneity of jazz collide within a blackened vacuum, you shall find the trimmed trio, Metal Rouge. Fearing nothing but stagnation (and yet wholly bottling it up), the outfit of Helga Fassonaki, Andrew Scott, and Caitlin Mitchell destroy guitars, drums, and microphones with metallic precision. The results as they are on Trails finds a band unapologetic about the past with Technicolor eyes aimed toward the future.

The first release on new label, Emerald Cocoon, Trails scraps the ectoplasm of our deepest and darkest and manifest it as creepy long-forms. Rather than channel the claws and heartbeats of the horror genre, Metal Rouge dig up the morose of everyday life. With the distant wails, deformed slides, and sporadic needling, Trails is a descent into the human psyche not unlike the early works of Darren Aronofsky or Alejandro Jodorowsky. The suspended terror that haunts every inch of Trails is unexplainable. The album is rich in solitary grooves and spectral melodies but never a moment of rest exists, even in the quieter moments of Side B. Metal Rouge has created a devilish album every bit as unnerving as a near death experience without the life altering afterglow. Forced to wallow in pity and glower in ever-present worry, Trails is an album that delivers a new perspective on life; one where your greatest fears are always realized in a twisted form of entertainment and discovery. Metal Rouge is standing up to their deepest and darkest throughout Trails -- can you do the same?

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist who also runs the webzine, Electronic Voice Phenomenon. He writes the Monday News Mash-Up for the KEXP Blog. You may follow him on Twitter.

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