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Released: Oct 15, 2013
Genre: Stoner Metal, Hard Rock
Label: Relapse Records
Number Of Tracks: 11
Red Fang continue to issue their passionate heavy metal attitude with their third studio album. But does the production quality damage the actual performance?
Whales And LeechesFeatured review by: UG Team, on october 31, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: American heavy metal group Red Fang are one of the newest acts to enter the scene after first forming back in 2009. Despite their relatively brief existance thus far, the band has already been catching the attention of both critics and metal fans alike. Red Fang's style of heavy metal more closely resembles that of stoner rock, which is comprised of repetative distortion-fueled guitar riffs, with enough speed to egnite a live head banging session, and traditional doom laiden lyrics. Shortly following their incarnation in 2009, Red Fang issued several limited print EPs under the record label Sargent House, before eventually releasing their self-titled debut studio album later that same. The album was failed to make any noticeable impact in both sales and airplay, but was a formidable way for the group to introduce themselves to the world.
2011 would prove to be a much better year for Red Fang; the band would release their second studio album, titled "Murder the Mountains," which landed at #25 on the Billboard Top Heatseakers chart. This noticeable success attracted along with it new opportunity for Red Fang, as the band would soon earn the spot of the opening band for the 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and had Red Fang playing alongside such names as Megadeth and Godsmack. Earlier this year, Red Fang went to play the Australian Soundwave Festival, and shared the bill with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax.
Now Red Fang are releasing the third installment in their musical catalog, which shows the metal group taking a darker approach as compared to the style previously featured on their previous outings. "Whales and Leeches" is comprised of thirteen hard hitting compositions, all of which boast the familiar tempo transitions which fans have grown all but accustomed to hearing. In songs such as "Blood Like Cream," Red Fang sit in a comfortbale groove set by pick grinding rhythm guitar work and an unforgiving percussion backbone. Songs like these have both the intensity and energy to appeal to established Red Fang followers, as well as those who more than occasionally delve into the stoner metal music genre. // 7
Lyrics: Lead vocalist and guitarist Bryan Giles gives a strong performance throughout the entire new Red Fang album. Unfortunately, because the way the album was produced his vocals end up being smothered by the guitar and bass playing, and it becomes difficult at times to even decipher his voice from the rest of the mix, let alone what he is singing about. In the scarce yet bright moments during the album where Bryan's vocals shine through the muddy production quality, he provides strong amounts of passion and emotion into his performance with compliment the rest of the instrumental work strengthfully. Bassist Aaron Beam occasionally contributes on backup vocals, and unfortunately we come across the same troubles with his performance being damaged by the album mixing: you barely even know that he is there for most of the new album. // 6
Overall Impression: With their third studio album "Whales and Leeches," Red Fang give a strong performance from start to finish. One of the main and most significant downsides to this album is the production quality, which diminishes what should be a captivating vocal performance from lead singer Bryan Giles. Not even a poor mixing job should be able to keep away most of the longtime Red Fang followers, and the album still comes strongly recommended to any heavy metal or stoner rock fan. // 6