Release The Panic review by RED

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Feb 4, 2013
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.1 (67 votes)
RED: Release The Panic

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".

30 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nowhere near as good as their previous material, I was very disappointed.
    I agree. I gave the album a 7 out of 10 (8 out of 10 for the deluxe version) this morning on my blog, but I was still very disappointed. I know the band is evolving, but it seems they are evolving inconsistently.
    I agree 100%. I feel like each album has gotten worse and that really disappoints me, I loved their early stuff so much. I'm not one of those people who hate all new music a band puts out, but this is just not good in my humble opinion.
    Me too, but it grows on you. It's still a great album, it just isn't anything as good as Innocence & Instinct was. Until We Have Faces had some killer tracks as well, but I think Innocence & Instinct is their best album to date. YOU GOTTA BUY THE NEW ALBUM WITH THE REMIXES. You will not be let down they are a great new perspective on some amazing RED songs.
    This was a disappointing effort. Perhaps only 4 songs out of the 10 were acceptable to me.
    First real disappointing album of 2013 for me. They released 3 solid albums in a row, they were due for a dud. A 7/10 is pretty generous, I'd give it a high 5/10 at worst or a low 6/10 at best. The songs aren't even that bad really, just lacking, unfortunately every song feels like it's missing something. And Red... metal? I don't think so. Alt-rock/hard rock is a more accurate title for them and definitely not nu-metal.
    Not feeling it. I was hoping for another "End of Silence." Maybe next time around.
    I actually like this album. songs like the title track, damage, and if we only show that red still can do what they have done before where as tracks like same disease and so far away show another side to red that has been shown in the previous three albums. I give it a 9 out of 10
    I give them credit for better choruses on this album than on the very overrated Until We Have Faces, but the best songs have the most aggression. The title track and Damage are significantly better than any of the other songs on this album. That's my one major disappointment.
    Release The Panic probably rates as much least favorite RED song of all time. I like the one part of the chorus but that's it. I was hoping this album would be a hybrid of Innocence & Instinct and Until We Have Faces but that did not happen I guess.
    "Melodic Pop Metal"? Errmmm...that makes me nervous. I'll give it a listen, but I'm not sure about this...
    While the first 5 songs seem not very well thought-out and radio-friendly (IMO the dance-rock Die For You is probably the worst thing Red have ever recorded), the second half is pretty great, "If We Only" saves the album in my eyes. I just wish the production was better, the songs lack the punch that I&I and UWHF had, and the kick drum sound is just plain annoying. I feel the album would have been absolutely amazing with a different producer.
    I think they need to hang it up for awhile and come back fresh. Releasing albums every 2 years is starting to be overkill. I'm a huge fan of this band but the majority of songs just don't capture me.
    Cold Reader
    Loved the first 3 albums but I've not heard a mellow song in Until We Have Faces or this album that comes close to Pieces. In fact, the lyrics on both the posted songs seem pretty poor for Red.
    Innocence and Instinct is my favorite RED album, and it probably always will be. This record is a decent listen, but the songs don't have very much staying power. I feel like you could pick and choose songs from the last 2 releases to build a really good album, but recently there's been a lot of filler. Barnes' voice is still really good on this album though.
    I was also really disappointed... Red has always been my favourite band and I was quite hyped for this album. The songs in itself aren't THAT bad, but they aren't Red... I severely miss the strings... They need to get rid of Howard Benson.
    While I do miss the strings and darker, more atmospheric sounds and even extending to lyrics of the first two albums, I must say I've been enjoying this far more than most of the material on UWHF... Most of these songs are far from deep, but the production is good and the songs are catchy enough to warrant replays thus far.
    Le Fantome
    I'll be honest, I liked it a LOT better then Until We Have Faces. Also, the riffs seemed a lot more creative to me, and there was even an almost-solo-ish-thing at a few points. I thought it was a pretty good progression for them.
    After listening to the two videos above, I honestly would say that this album was the next step after "Until We Have Faces". I bought UWHF, and I listened to it like 3 times. I'd say I would get it more listens. That said, I'd hardly call it a masterpiece or even ever classify it as one of my favorite albums. As someone else said, I miss the strings too. But even with those, they could have done a whole lot more . /shrug
    Was hoping and expecting a lot better. I liked the direction they were heading in, not the pop type album released...
    This is definitely not a bad albums...but far from their best. VERY far. Still a good listen though
    I was severely disappointed in this album...Replacing all of the orchestral elements with electronic elements killed it for me. And the remixes on the deluxe edition made it even worse. There were a few songs that appealed to me regardless, but overall I can't say I'm pleased with it.
    Die For You is a terrible song, but otherwise I don't mind this album at all. I just miss the strings. Also, they should forget about mellow songs. They'll never top Pieces, and this isn't a "they can't do better than their first album" mindset. It's just that Pieces is a once in a lifetime (for a hard rock band) mellow song that they're just not going to top. Ever. So unless they're going to actually strip it down to acoustic and piano again, I'm tired of songs like "Not Alone" and "Hold Me Now." Otherwise, I still love this band. Also, I said earlier that "Release the Panic" and "Damage" were easily the two best songs on the record--I may have been wrong. Glass House and The Moment We Come Alive are absolutely beautiful songs.