Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Heavy alternative “Christian” rockers Red know their place in the music industry. They know the general sound that their fans love and, with the exception of minor tweaks in sound, know exactly how to keep them satisfied. The bands recently released fourth albumRelease the Panic (Released February 2013) will certainly leave fans far more than satisfied.
Following the commercially successful Until We Have Faces¸ which went to Number 2 on the Billboard 200, Red does what every good band should do after such success, make the album even heavier. As Tim “The Toolman” Taylor would say, “More Power!” Release the Panic is without a doubt the bands heaviest album since their debut album, 2006’s End of Silence.
Lead vocalist Michael Barnes completely perfects the art of “screaming”, something not many vocalists can do. He has always been one of the many singers lately, whom can go from a clean voice to a guttural scream, however Reds songs have always been very light on the guttural vocals. On this album, the band finds a way to maintain a heavy sound without needing to rely on guttural vocals. The album’s title track, Damage and If We Only are the only songs to really feature any gutturals. All three songs, in typical Red fashion, mostly feature Michael’s melodic yet still tough as nails voice, and only intermittently have fills where he’ll “scream”.
The rest of the albums heavy songs feature all clean vocals, but don’t immediately sell the songs short just for that reason. If you were to listen to them you’d still remember you’re listening to some pretty heavy music. Perfect Life features probably the heaviest chorus on the whole album, while Die For Youhas a beat that I dare any listener not to head bang to. Same Disease has probably the most sing able chorus that the band has ever done, and is a true anthem to modern rock that could have a crowd easily sing along with.
A singer such as Michael Barnes has far too beautiful of a voice to go a full album without any slower songs, which the band has always noted, so they provide us with such slow melodic songs such as Hold Me Now, which features heavy usage of an acoustic guitar and some electronics behind it, before the electric guitars come in to make the song a bit more intense and powerful yet not quite heavy. So Far Away, the finest of the slower songs, starts off with a loud arrangement of guitars and drums, before calming down in to a soft love song, with a powerful and heartfelt chorus. The Moment We Come Alive is somewhere between a soft song and a heavy song. It still leans more towards the slower melodic side, but it relies more on heavy guitars and the hard pounding of drums compared to the albums other two softer songs.
If you were to get the deluxe edition, you will have your hands on two bonus tracks that the regular version doesn’t have; Love Will Leave A Mark and As You Go. The first of the two being more on the heavy side, however it would have to fall as the least significant song on the album. It is a song with lyrics that mean well, but don’t come across well in music form. As You Go is a slow song, in light of earlier songs by the band which are not heavy, and rely rather heavily on electronic drums, however the track is among the highlights from the album.
This album is 100% guaranteed for existing fans of the band. For the listener who has never heard of the band Red, as per usual I would recommend listening to any band in order from first album to last, however should this be the first album a fan would come across, they will definitely get a great taste of what the band sounds like, and should they enjoy what they hear, they are guaranteed to love all of the bands previous albums.
“Glass House” – The only truly neutral song off of the album because it is not quite as heavy as the heavy songs on the album, yet not quite as soft as the softer songs. The song features a speaker-full of instruments, with a lot of guitars, a feint string section and keyboards can be heard as well. The song has small interludes of soft-spoken singing and piano heavy segments in between the full and heavy choruses, making it the most well written song off of the album. Michael performs among the greatest vocal jobs he’s ever done with the band, if only for the melodies, and not the voice itself. The lyrics are also quite strong and fit very well with the songs feel.
8 (Out of 10)
|“Release the Panic”||3:02|
|“Die for You”||2:47|
|“Hold Me Now”||4:01|
|“If We Only”||3:47|
|“So Far Away”||3:56|
|“The Moment We Come Alive”||3:23|