RED SAND was created by guitarist Simon Caron, a self-proclaimed David Gilmour, Andy Latimer, Steven Rothery, IQ, BB KING and Albert COLLINS fan. At age 18, he started a couple of progressive rock bands (FÉNIX and OCÉAN) and then left the music scene for a while. Unable to stay away from prog very long, however, he started to write again, searched for a band to perform his music and was soon surrounded by seasoned musicians most willing to oblige. Thus RED SAND was born. There has been a few personnel changes since and the band now consists of Caron himself on guitar, assisted by classically trained vocalist Stéphane Dorval, ex-DAGMAHR keyboard player Pierre Massicotte, renowed Québec bassist Mathieu Gosselin and (newcomer) drummer Perry Angellilo. They released a first album in 2004 titled ‘Mirror of Insanity” and then a second a year later called “Gentry”. All music and lyrics are penned by Caron.
What strikes the listener is how “early-MARILLION” the band sounds without seeming to imitate them. The compositional style, breaks and moods, the Rothery-like guitar play and the Nolan-like keyboard flights all contribute to this impression – even the albums’ artwork bears that early MARILLION touch; yet for some reason, it all sounds very much RED SAND. Well produced and expertly crafted, their music flows naturally and the themes blend into one another with remarkable ease. The lyrics never sound forced or imitative (the vocalist sings in English but doesn’t sound at all like FISH). The band may not offer anything original in terms of style, but they do deliver first-rate neo prog that oozes charm, refinement and professionalism.
Highly recommended if you’re into early MARILLION, PENDRAGON, ARENA, CLEPSYDRA or SHADOWLAND.