Sound — 7
Christian rock band RED is back with a new record. In many ways guys are still keeping their trademark and there is no doubt that you will recognize them from first vocal parts and sometimes from first chords. This time band is way more concentrated on electronic potential of their music. While songs Still Alive, Loosing Control, A.I. are the great examples of what can be called "true Red songs", most of other stuff is closer to the experience we already heard in such tracks like The Ever and Take Me Over off their precious CD 'Of Beauty And Rage' and different remixes. And what's strange, closing track Singularity reminded me The Resistance era of Muse and Exist from the last Avenged Sevenfold.
While finally the sound is really impressive, atmospheric, viscid keeps the right balance of soft and heavy, there is still a great concern I have about most of Red last tracks -- aren't there a lack of guitars for a guitar band. Red always have heavy guitar riffs and rhythms parts but almost all melodic parts always were on orchestra and piano side. This time the leading role belongs to different kinds of synth effects. And piano.In most songs they creates a good atmosphere for other parts, but when they come along... songs become too pop-alike: catchy but empty.
Great stop and go parts and soft-heavy-soft switches are included finishing the best Red has.
Lyrics — 8
Michael Barnes vocals are undoubtedly the strong part of bands sound. I always appreciated the way he is able to go both lyrical and extremely heavy. He is an almost unique example of singer with proficiency in both clean and extreme vocals and the one who has clear melodic voice. He still not flexible but his job is done well on this record.
Lyrics can be called to simple. There are good metaphors and rhythmic parts but when you look at the structure of the song it's clear that the biggest part goes to repeated parts and choruses. Also the structures are almost always the same. Themes are typical for Red with some modern things like A.I. and Singularity as metaphors for well-known themes. Human being and existence are themes that rules the ball this time in most way.
Overall Impression — 7
Red new record isn't bad at all. But it doesn't feel like their previous record which was conceptually and soundly united. It's more experimental LP and more controversial in a way how to perceive it. It's a risky way because there is a great chance to just not fit what fans are expecting - meaning classic Red - and first singles Loosing Control and Still Alive mess things a bit. Especially with it's small length.
Album reminded me not that successful experiment of Shinedown with their Threat to Survival turn to electronic and Avenged Sevenfold sound and progressive experiments in The Stage (with some themes and atmosphere things). Gone is a completely different album but the scheme is close and is not a disappointment for sure.