Seasoned alternative metal band Red
formed in 2004 in Nashville, Tennessee. They released their debut full-length back in 2006 named "End
," and a few more afterwards in the later years. In the meantime, they became rather well-known for their emotional mix of heavy metal and alternative rock, which has been compared to that of other well-known bands such as Chevelle
and Breaking Benjamin
. In 2015, their legacy would continue with their fifth full-length titled "Of Beauty and Rage
was one of the first bands that got me into heavy metal and rock, alongside others such as Nightwish
, Slipknot, and Flyleaf
. Although I haven't listened to much of their previous material back then, the band dished out a few songs that I grew fond of, such as "Breathe into Me" and "Let Go." The music had a lot of power and energy behind it, fusing alternative rock and metal with a little orchestra in there as well, which really compelled me when I first heard it back in middle school. I still do find them a bit entertaining today, albeit very cheesy in their angst-drenched delivery. Thus, when they released their latest full-length, I was interested in where the band would take this sound years later. After listening to it a few times over, I've come to the conclusion that "Of Beauty and Rage
" is nothing short of a solid effort.
One of the immediate highlights of this album is the singing, both clean and aggressive. Michael Barnes's vocals always had a ton of emotion, range, and potency behind them, and they don't appear to have slowed down after almost a decade since their debut. Whether it be the clean singing or the occasional screams and yells, the vocals don't have a single moment when they're lacking in energy and potency. They hit the notes without fail, and the raw and sheer power behind them easily make them the overall centerpiece of the whole record.
Aside from the vocals, the instrumental elements also hold up well, especially in the orchestral department. The guitars and drums both aren't anything that special in terms of writing and performance, consisting of very simple alternative riffs and beats, they are still solid for what they are. The true instrumental stand-out, however, would be the orchestral work; They mostly consist of strings and piano, and they are written and composed greatly and add a lot of atmosphere to the music. The fact that the violins, violas, and cellos were performed by real musicians and not programmed with a synthesizer or anything else of the sort, makes them sound much more genuine, raw, and therefore, compelling.
On top of the solid musicianship and sound production, there are lots of highlights to be experienced throughout the album. "Descent" draws the curtains with some slow, dark strings that set the record's cinematic tone greatly before transitioning into "Imposter." The latter, along with a few others such as "Shadow
and Soul" and "Fight
to Forget," are on the heavier and gloomier side and deliver very well. The same goes for the more dramatic side of the music. Not lighthearted, mind you, as tracks including "Darkest Part" and "Of These Chains" are no less emotionally intense than the others described earlier, but they are more dramatic than they are brooding. The instruments, especially the vocals, are performed with vigor, and the theatrical aura and of the album (Courtesy of Rob Graves
's production) helps reinforce the moods of both sides without becoming too cheesy, for an overall powerful listening experience.
If the previous paragraphs weren't an indication, this album has a lot to offer; However, it does have a couple shortcomings. Firstly, it runs for a bit too long, consisting of fifteen tracks (Approximately one hour) that mainly span from four to five minutes each. This may not have been an issue if the songs were a tad more diverse, but that isn't the case; While the record is certainly not monotonous and repetitive, a lot of the tracks follow the same verse-chorus structure and dark, passionate tone. Because of this, the album may grow somewhat repetitive and stale; Maybe cutting the track-list down by three to five songs could have sufficed, since that probably wouldn't have made much of a difference in the long run impact-wise. Also, as just mentioned, the music mostly take on the verse-chorus layout without much variation, so those jaded to that sort of build might not have their minds changed here.
these issues, however, "Of Beauty and Rage
" is still a potent album fully charged with expression and atmosphere. It boasts heavily energetic vocals and potent instrumentation, great production values, and memorable highlights throughout. There are also the orchestral elements, which are spot-on and add much to the music's dramatic ambiance. The album may be a bit typical and formulaic for the alternative metal/rock genre, and it could have been a little shorter, but those gripes don't stop the record from being an enjoyably emotional powerhouse. I don't know about a lot of the band's other previous releases, but "Of Beauty and Rage
" is definitely worth a listen.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/