Review Summary: An 'ok' hard rock/nu metal band trying to sound bigger and better than they really are.
Throughout history the color red has been used for many things: blood, heat, love, passion, the heart, hatred, etc. To the more than one billion Christians around the world, it represents the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ - the man that so many believe to be the Son of God. The Christian band assumes this name for that very reason, and they seem quite passionate about what they do.
On the surface, Red appears quite the decent band - often more than that. Their nu-metal/hard rock debut is driven by plenty of heavy guitar riffs, which are boring less than half the time and often quite catchy. The simple-but-steady rhythm drums and bass provide a steady backbone for the guitarist and vocalist to take center stage. Red's vocalist, Mike Barnes, stands out a bit among his genre peers whilst also belting out a Pete Loeffler-esque voice with strong emotion throughout the End of Silence
. After many listens, though, something pops up in my mind. It's something I can't quite figure out, until the thought finally hits me:
Just how good do these guys think they are?
The reason that one must ask is the apparently pretentious songwriting present on most of the songs here - nearly all of them go on about a minute too long. It's certainly impressive that these relatively young newcomers can pull it off, but what's the point? A longer album does not mean a better or more enjoyable album.
To be fair, one must reiterate that Red is just
able to pull off these overly long songs, sometimes with great ease but usually within a hair of losing listeners' attention. Their use of symphonic and electronic elements makes the songs sound more full (and sometimes even a bit "epic"), as well as filling in the interludes. Mike Barnes meets every note with ease, and his screams are executed with the same apparent effortlessness. Even though none of the other musicians really match their frontman's talent, they nonetheless contribute to the album.
Perhaps I'm laying blame where it shouldn't be. Producer Rob Graves co-wrote the whole album save one song, and wrote "Pieces" by himself. It's quite likely Graves who's responsible for the song lengths, and probably the weak lyrics as well. There's no reason that Red can't do things on their own and have their producer be an aid instead of guide. So the bottom line is - let's hope this band gives their current producer the cut.
In a potentially great debut, Red has (seemingly) embodied the emotions associated with their name - passionate vocals, pounding guitars, a solid rhythm section and soaring strings. However, they seem too ambitious about their abilities and reliant on the producer. Although there is certainly untapped potential contained in End of Silence
, as of now the album falls a bit short. Buy this album if you're unsatisfied with Minutes to Midnight
or want more Chevelle sound in your collection, but anyone need only enjoy the singles.
Breathe Into Me
Already Over, Part 2