Sound — 7
When you think of Red as a band you think grunge guitars, emotional lyrics and ambient backing piano phrasings. Red's highly successful prior album 'End of Silence' created a huge following for the band. After listening to Red's previous album literally to death I was excited to hear that they had produced and created a new album. The new album is entitled 'Innocence & Instinct'. Red have often been likened to such bands as Linkin Park and this new album has really shown their own sound and style, separating themselves from mainstream sounds. Red can usually be characterised as being in the genres of ambient rock and heavy rock. Fans of Red's heavier side, with heavy fat metal-driven guitars will certaintly not be dissapointed. Innocence & Instinct use these chunky, aggressive sounding guitars in practically all of their songs in the new album. Two prominent songs which make good use of this are 'Fight Inside' and 'Death of me'. The backing orchestral sounds (violins and such) are much more prominent in the album and have been brought to the surface in many songs. That said, I found that the guitars were often misplaced in some songs which needed more of an orchestral/ ambient sound. But I guess that this just goes to show how they are changing their style. I feel that Red have a somewhat lopsided album - focusing on their heavier side. For this reason I believe they may lose a few of their fans who enjoyed and appreciated their ambient music.
Lyrics — 9
Since Red's 2007 trailer crash which left their then-drummer injured, the band commented on how fortunate they were to be alive. The lyrics are very much indicative of how the band live for every moment and how they attribute their album to a higher power. Often the lead singer, Michael Barnes, has created similar stylings to Stephen Christian from Anberlin (Listen to 'Mystery of You'). However, Barnes voice is still highly unique and his scream has become more urgent and upfront. The music is very much expressive of the things Barnes and the band are going through and what their hearts and minds are continually feeling. Innocence & Instinct is definately a personal album for both the band and the listener. Barne's emormous range in his voice is probably the main reason Red have done so well. His voice is haunting, relaxing, aggressive and expressive all at the same time which shows the extent of his talent. Many metal and post-grunge bands lyrics are lacking in dynamics, however Barne's intelligence and vivid wordings certainly come out in Innocence & Instinct.
Overall Impression — 8
My favourite songs in the new album are 'Fight Inside', 'Take it All Away' and 'Start Again'. I love the fact that Innocence & Instinct has Red's sound, voicings and new style. What I didn't like was that I felt the X-Factor from 'End of Silence' was somehow lost in the transition between albums. Maybe it is just because it would be hard to top such songs 'Already Over', 'Breathe Into Me' and 'Hide'. In my opinion End of Silence was the better album and had more range than Innocence & Instint. Some of the songs on the new album seem like they have just been thrown in as 'fillers' to get their 10 songs on the album. However, Innocence & Instinct is definately worth checking out. It may at first be quite different to their previous album but continue to listen to it and it will grow on you. I highly recommend that you listen to it before you buy it. That said, this album is definately more good than bad.