Sound — 5
I have been a fan of the band RED since hearing them for the first time back in 2006. Since then, I have enjoyed every album RED have made. RED's new album "Release The Panic" breaks that trend. Prior to this new release, RED have been very consistent in their sound, melodies and musicianship. It was only a matter of time before they tried something new. RED have always incorporated industrial elements to their music, which I believe mesh very well behind the crushing guitar, drums and soaring melodies. "Release The Panic" plays opposite to that, the guitars take a back seat to a techno feel that will leave you scratching you're head. It works well in a few songs, but you will find yourself waiting for that awesome riff or melody that stays with you for days, It just doesn't show up on this album. On the ballad side, the new sound seems to work much better. I would argue that the lighter tracks are the better songs on "Release The Panic".
Lyrics — 5
Michael Barnes is an exceptional vocalist. The energy and emotion he brings to this band is irreplaceable. That element is captured on this new record, Unfortunately, not enough. The songs "Glass House" and "Hold Me Now" deliver top notch vocal performances that would fit right in on any of the bands previous work. The main problem on "Release The Panic" is that the majority of the melodies and lyrics are forgetful. Aside from a few songs, they just don't grab hold of you like expected on a RED album.
Overall Impression — 5
Overall, "Release The Panic" is Disappointing. Let me just say I am not one against bands evolving sounds or trying new ideas. For the most part it keeps things fresh and exciting, but "Release The Panic" is missing the powerhouse tracks and heavy staple songs that has crafted this bands sound for the past seven years. The songs replacing them seem second rate and are B-side material. To end on a positive note, its not all bad. There is some good material here, especially if you are a longtime RED fan like myself: