Formed out of the ashes of Rodan, this loose collective thrives on the neo-classical compositional skills of pianist Rachel Grimes, bassist/organist Jason Noble, and violinist Christian Frederickson. Augmented by a rotating cast of cellists, trumpeters, and drummers, the trio concocts an emotive symphony that, though thoroughly modern, seems timeless. The songs on The Sea and the Bells flow together so seamlessly, it almost seems like one brilliant hour-long epic composition. "Rhine & Courtesan" opens the album with a dynamic, wistful melody that evokes the feeling of riding on ocean waves, then crashes to a startling halt, only to re-emerge with a claustrophobic eeriness that foretells impending doom. Other songs continue the nautical theme, from the haunting "Night at Sea" to the hallucinatory "Letters Home." In an alternative scene where instrumental rockers are a dime a dozen, Rachel's stands out like diamonds on the ocean floor.
AllMusic Review by Bret Love