Sound — 7
RED are a renowned Christian heavy metal and alternative rock band, who first emerged from Nashville back in 2006 with the release of their debut album, "End Of Silence". Their signature style of crunching hard rock that's proudly showcased throughout such songs as "Breathe Into Me" and "Not Alone" immediately appealed to headbanging music fans across the nation and overseas, and quickly gathered the band a hefty following. Now, fans everywhere will have another reason to head back out to the local music store, as RED have just released a brand new studio album, "Release The Panic", that boasts a quality unlike anything that band has previously pushed out to date. Unlike their first two records, "Release The Panic" doesn't bear a consistent, raging attitude, but instead features a nearly 50/50 mix of head pounding screamers and radio friendly pop metal tunes.
Some of the best examples off the disc would have to be the post-grunge "Damage" and the title track, which are built around a galloping guitar riff and ferocious vocals. Just as soon as you get caught in the raging metal beat, the disc suddenly shifts into such commercial sounding songs as "Hold Me Now", which although don't hurt the ears it admittedly makes easily listening to entire album from start to finish a little difficult.
Lyrics — 8
Lead vocalist Michael Barnes has a very versatile singing voice. He can handle seemingly any musical genre, which works to his advantage in "Release The Panic". He can easily transition from a comforting natural tone to emitting enraging roars, while at the appropriate moments adding just enough emotion to help it compliment the song perfectly, without showing off too much.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, "Release The Panic" is a pretty decent album from a great heavy metal band, which shows RED moving into expansive territory by experimenting with melodic pop metal. While the album might not flow as well as a full balls out screamer outing, it's still in all rights a great album that any established fan should easily be able to enjoy. Out of all the new tracks, I have to say that the ones that stand out the most are "Damage", "Hold Me Now", and "So Far Away".