Review Summary: Progressive in that it's metalcore mixed with everything else. Brutal, uncomprimising, always interesting and rarely disappointing, The Red Chord's debut album is the stuff a technical brutal metal fan's wet dreams are made of. Well worth your time.
These days, it is extremely difficult to find a metalcore act that really does stand out from the crowd. There are the legendary metalcore acts that have been around since before the genre caught on like a plague; Poison the Well and Norma Jean to name but a couple. On occasions, one of the newer metalcore acts will make a lasting impression on more than just scene kids; All Shall Perish being the prime example. But a lot of these bands fail miserably at one of the most important aspects of being a successful and interesting metal act; ingenuity and creativity.
Allow me to introduce you to the debut album of death metal/metalcore/whatever tag is being used these days band The Red Chord. Fused Together In Revolving Doors
is an album that showcases nine tracks of brutality, quirkiness, ingenuity and general excellence. As soon as the opening maniacal seconds of Nihilist have eaten your ears away, you know that this album is going to be far from your typical "chug-chug, wee-wee" affair. In all honesty, the only reason The Red Chord are sometimes labeled metalcore is that they they use a few breakdowns here and there. It is more likely that self-proclaimed fans of the band who have only ever heard material on Clients or their most recent effort, Prey For Eyes and thought "oh look, another metalcore band". But the question is, what makes this album so good? Well, in short, every track offers something. Oh, and every track is very good. Throughout the nine tracks, listeners are treated to a number of things prevalent in a wide array of genres. You've got your death metal riffs, your hardcore riffs and a huge number of eargasmic pinch harmonics (a band trademark). The drumming is also a massive plus point of the band - always unpredictable and very infrequently uninteresting, fans of complex and intricate drumming will cum their pants listening to this. Some of the speed of the double bass patterns is actually inhuman but what makes it more remarkable is that it doesn't detract from the rest of the band. The vocals jump between death metal growls, intelligible guttural low-register vocal shenanigans and schizophrenic highs. Guy is mostly certainly a good vocalist even if the style he decided to adopt on Clients was decidedly less kick-ass than on here. However, it was rumoured that Gunface did the high vocals. Well, whatever, they sound awesome and are put to good use throughout the album.
The guitars are also, in short, fantastic. Gunface and Johnny pumped out all number of ridiculously heavy and brutal riffs on Fused - highlights include the epic Sixteen Bit Fingerprint and the undeniably catchy riffathon that is Dreaming In Dog Years. But they don't just stick to heavy power-chord workouts - the middle section of Sixteen Bit Fingerprint showcases an incredibly simple yet brilliant two chord strumming pattern. Coupled with the tasteful drumming and vocal montrosity of Guy, it really does prove that sometimes simple is best. Other quirky guitar segments include the hilarious opening of Dreaming In Dog Years and the beautifully jazz-inspired interlude of L Formation. Instrumental track He Was Stretching, and Then He Climbed Up There gives off an eerie atmosphere whilst remaining calm. Odd yet ultimately compelling. The bass even shines through on a few occasions - listen out for the funky bass bit in That Certain Special Ugly.
In conclusion, this wonderful amalgamation of metalcore, death metal, grind and the odd jazz element is a winner. Every band member is on top form - the vocals are great and really varied, the guitars intertwine on a level of technicality and ingenuity most metalcore bands could only dream of and the rhythm section is as impressive as it is unpredictable. If you're looking for something which is both brutal and different, look no further than this. A true classic of the more brutal side of metalcore.
Sixteen Bit Fingerprint
But the whole album is most definitely worth your attention.