The past 11 years, the members of the band RED have been making quite a name for themselves. Their first album “End of Silence” was very impressive to say the least, and with their later albums, RED really improved their sound. Their 4th album “Release the Panic” was more experimental with electronic sounds and contained no classical instruments. The album was well received, though the fanbase was divided. After the release, the drummer Joe Rickard announced that he would be leaving RED, who has now been replaced by Love & Death drummer Dan Johnson. Fans have been looking forward to this new album for months now, and we’ll see what their newest album has to offer:
The first track “Imposter” begins with some background noises and a haunting bass line to gain the listener’s interest, which definitely works. Slowly the guitars and violins are join in. The atmosphere is somewhat darker than RED’s previous work, which really compliments the sound of the low-tuned guitars. The vocals also provide some contrast to the lower guitars. The violins in the background are really the cherry on top of this beautiful cake.
A couple of weeks before the album was released, RED release an excerpt from “Darkest Part”. And the reaction was wild. Fans knew it: RED is back with their signature sound that everyone’s familiar with. Strong, on point vocals; classical instruments such as chellos, violins and the piano; and an emotional theme. The verse begins with just vocals and string instruments, after which the drums and guitars join in. When you hear the chorus, you can definitely hear that the sound resembles that of “End of Silence” but that it’s also a bit more melancholic and dark.
“Yours Again” starts off with classical instruments to really set the atmosphere. While RED’s previous albums also contained string instruments, this time it seems like the parts they play are more intricate. They aren’t simply added to the song, like some artists do, but they’re an actual pat of the song (if that makes sense.) The parts for the string instruments are very well written, and RED has really outdone themselves. While the verse of the song seems more melancholic, the chorus provides some hopeful elements. The lyrics are quite obvious: they’re about trying to live without God, and finally realizing that that’s not possible. RED has always been very vocal about not being perfect, and pointing the One who is.
What I like about the song “Fight to Forget” is that it has a more agressive sound rather than emotional. The intro begins with strings, but once the guitars come in, the song bursts with agressive energy. This energy is incredible and the strings make sure the darker, haunting sounds are brought to the listener’s ear. There’s also a good amount of screams through out the song that really make this work of art complete.
Another song that stood out to me was “Take Me Over” that begins with fast paced guitars and drums. The song seems to contain some elements of late Linkin Park, which is definitely not a bad thing. And it sure offers some variety in between. There are also some beautiful softer songs on this album, but I find it hard to actually review them, since those are the less complex song and I don’t think they need my commentary. They really are beautiful and I suggest you listen to them.
Overall: While this album definitely represents some elements of RED’s previous albums, I don’t want to send a message that this album is just a lot of recycled material. RED has worked very hard to create an album that sounds familiar, but it is unique in its own right. And that effort has paid off. While RED may have gone back to their roots, they also took some different turns that worked out really well. This album is more dark than their previous work, and I think RED went beyond just creating music. This is a work of art.
Written by Geert Prins
03 Shadow and Soul
04 Darkest Part
05 Fight to Forget
06 Of These Chains
07 Falling Sky
08 The Forest
09 Yours Again
10 What You Keep Alive
11 Gravity Lies
12 Take Me Over
13 The Ever
14 Part That’s Holding On
Michael Barnes – lead vocals
Anthony Armstrong – rhythm guitar, lead guitar, backing vocals
Randy Armstrong – bass, piano, backing vocals
Dan Johnson Drums
Record label: Essential Records, Feb. 2015
“End of Silence” (2006)
“Innocence & Instinct” (2009)
“Until We Have Faces” (2011)
“Release the Panic” (2013) [review]
“of Beauty and Rage” (2015)
Video below ‘Darkest Part’