Red
Release the Panic


3.0
good

Review

by Caleb C. USER (26 Reviews)
February 4th, 2013 | 124 replies


Release Date: 02/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Strung out.

For starters, this album surprised me. To say that it’s not a disappointment would be a lie, but it’s not a disappointment in the way that was initially expected. With the release of the two singles “Release the Panic” and “Perfect Life”, there was plenty of cause for an uproar about the direction Red seemed to be favoring. Bland, generic, and derivative were perfect describers of the path down which Red seemed to be heading. Now that we can see the complete product, however, I can’t really say that those statements are as accurate in the big picture. Red is still a standout within their genre in the songwriting department, and there is evidence throughout that they have not ‘sold their soul’ to the mainstream devil just yet. But for other unexpected, while still equally irksome, reasons, this album falls short.

Overall, this is Michael Barnes’ best vocal performance yet. His variation of delivery, his highs and lows, his screams and strained growls, are all perfectly on point. Even in the worst of songs (see Damages), his vocals make it listenable. And in the songs that are above par, he pushes them to the point of standing up amongst the best in Red’s discography. His lyrical content hasn’t changed, but that’s not unexpected, as a Christian alternative rock band really has a narrow path down which they can tread. The fact that this is the only consistently above average aspect of the album is where we run into the most issues.

With the lead singles, we were presented with a heavy, string-less Red that no one was really sure how to react to. To be honest, that’s pretty much this record in a nutshell. Red has essentially entered the realm of alternative metal throughout most of this, and it’s a bit of a surprise. Don’t get me wrong, they could certainly do it successfully, and it’s something that given specific circumstances could have turned out to be an impressive move for the band. But not here. Red stand’s up and shouts, “We’re back and heavier than ever!” but forgets that heaviness alone can’t carry a band like themselves, one that is still trying to achieve such a high level of melody.

This is where we see the nu-metal-esque guitar work, something that has always been a staple of Red’s sound, start to become stale and same-y sounding without the string instrumentation softening any part of the blow. Every song is a lesson in how we can make this riff different from the previous songs riff. And, somehow, they do a pretty good job with the variation and the product is somehow still moderately interesting. But as anyone who has heard their share of nu-metal songs in their life can tell you, it’s still just a downtuned guitar riff. There is a plethora of ways that Red could have cushioned the blow of the wall of guitars, even the old standbys of violins and cellos, but instead our eardrums are pummeled with the same sounds for the length of the LP, creating monotony.

They didn’t completely abandon the strings, as evidenced in songs “Glass Houses” and “If We Only”, both of which turn out to be quite excellent and a wonderful change of pace. In addition, the ballads on here are far better than anything we heard on Until We Have Faces. But these moments are much too few and far between, and as a result the record suffers. As most have looked to place the blame on producer new Howard Benson, I’m not as willing. Red have made a strong effort to wade through waters they haven’t already, and in the process have seemingly forgotten what had set them apart from the pack. So unless he is entirely responsible for their dropping of stings, we can’t place all the blame on him for this lackluster effort. Conversely, if he is responsible, I would like his head on a spike.



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user ratings (169)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
Alex Beebe (3.5)
Moving out of their comfort zone and into new territory; though that territory itself is a bit overd...

fromtheinside (1)
R.I.P....

SSimpossible (2.5)
An over-produced, almost painfully mediocre album, "Release The Panic" is Red's weakest effort to da...


Comments:Add a Comment 
iswimfast
February 4th 2013


1340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Had this for awhile now just had to wait for an official stream, which is here:

http://www.artistdirect.com/entertainment-news/article/listen-redteam-up-with-artistdirect-com-to-debut-release-the-panic/10380144

A long winded way to say that this really suffers from the lack of strings, in ways not previously expected. Let me know what I could do better, review-wise. Thanks!

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013


6287 Comments


Good review, pos.

Digging: Madred - Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive

iswimfast
February 4th 2013


1340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

thanks!

SnideRemark
February 4th 2013


42 Comments


band are incredible

Sevendave
February 4th 2013


30 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is a step back in my eyes, so i see where your coming from in the review. Album is just 'OK'.

toxin.
February 4th 2013


12777 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I fucking love the last three songs. Basically as soon as this piece of shit stops trying to be generic nu metal/alt metal and goes back to what made Red, this kicks ass. The exception is "If We Only" which I believe was a ballad that bored me to tears.

Anyways love the summary and good review, pos'd.

Ignimbrite
February 4th 2013


5464 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

fuck these shitty heavy tracks, fuck the lack of strings on this album, and most of all, fuck Howard Benson.

Digging: Downfall of Gaia - Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay

iswimfast
February 4th 2013


1340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

nah so far away was the ballad, if we only is a heavy track. probably my favorite track on the album
too.

toxin.
February 4th 2013


12777 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Okay that ballad was awful and the last two tracks are good
Two good tracks? Maybe this is a 1.5, hm. Still, Glass House is one of their best songs ever... so
fucking good.

toxin.
February 4th 2013


12777 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Never mind So Far Away is pretty solid, nothing amazing and a bit generic, but still old Red.

Was there a ballad before this? I could have sworn there was something here totally subdued that just bored the hell out of me... So Far Away is more power ballad than ballad.

Ignimbrite
February 4th 2013


5464 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

yeah, Glass House rules. Great chorus.

iswimfast
February 4th 2013


1340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

id guess Hold Me Now was the one you're thinking of, rather unimpactful track.

toxin.
February 4th 2013


12777 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

The title of that song sounds exactly like the boring tripe I'm thinking of. If We Only isn't bad though, but personally I never want to hear Barnes scream except for what he does in 'Let Go.'

I should just make a second CD of the best tracks from EoS/UWHF/this, leave I&I alone, and say Red has made two of the best mainstream rock albums in the last decade or more.

Ignimbrite
February 4th 2013


5464 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I should just make a second CD of the best tracks from EoS/UWHF/this, leave I&I alone, and say Red has made two of the best mainstream rock albums in the last decade or more.


Fucking this.

SSimpossible
February 4th 2013


7 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review! I think this was their weakest effort to date by far. The only tracks I thoroughly enjoyed were "Glass House" and "As You Go" (on the Deluxe Edition); everything else for me ranged between average and below average.

toxin.
February 4th 2013


12777 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Whoa, As You Go is pretty sweet. Good call dude.

iswimfast
February 4th 2013


1340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Yea, i didnt hear that track til after i finished this, it's definitely a good cut.

Funeralopolis
February 4th 2013


11775 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album is shit

Digging: Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Willie
Moderator
February 4th 2013


16132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I can't believe they dropped the strings... that's what made them different and listenable (besides the vocals).

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Xenophanes
Emeritus
February 4th 2013


10623 Comments


This band is still making music?



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