Red
Release the Panic


3.5
great

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
February 11th, 2013 | 18 replies


Release Date: 02/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Moving out of their comfort zone and into new territory; though that territory itself is a bit overdone.

Parting ways with longtime producer Rob Graves and teaming up with modern rock producer Howard Benson, – known for his past work with other Christian rock bands such as Skillet, P.O.D., Flyleaf, and Creed – Red’s fourth album Release the Panic sees the group leap out of the heavily symphonic-based alternative metal music they’ve established for themselves and into a more commanding electronic rock sound.

Red had developed a lush and powerful atmosphere that befit their passionate faith-fueled nu metal on their sophomore album Innocence & Instinct. Forming a signature symphonic rock sound through strings and soaring melodies firmly set them apart from the rest of their post-grunge contemporaries, and disproved any accusations that they were nothing more than Linkin Park and Chevelle wannabes. The group’s third album Until We Have Faces saw the band further doing what worked best for them already, but that resulted in an overly safe and uninventive album that embraced the conventions they made for themselves to a weaker effect than before.

Release the Panic doesn’t use their own signature elements in an overly excessive fashion. “So Far Away” and “Glass House” are actually the only two tracks that feature a prominent usage of the string sections that make up their sound. While the album has the usual melodic ballads such as “Hold Me Now” and “The Moment We Come Alive” concerning their faith that don’t seem as grand, effective, or unique without orchestral characteristics present, Release the Panic mainly focuses on honing the band’s main strength outside of symphonies; that being the heaviness of their metal anthems.

In the past, Red has preferred to use synths to create hushed ambient undertones in their music. Release the Panic, however, sees the band diving headfirst into more harsh and driving electronic rock that isn’t the industrial route most other nu metal acts take when incorporating electronics into their music. There’s a blistering synth line that opens “Die For You” before the song’s chugging riffs contrast surprisingly well with a more poppier vocal approach from frontman Michael Barnes. The ominous humming of synths continues to make great friction with deep guitar wails on the following track “Damaged”, in which Barnes shows off his screaming capabilities at their most menacing and shatters any comparisons made between him and Linkin Park lead vocalist Chester Bennington.

The album’s weakest moments are its first two songs (as well as singles) “Release the Panic” and “Perfect Life” that seem a little bare bones and shallow for Red, and are vaguely reminiscent of pop punk more than they resemble hard rock. This does show Red demonstrating more control over just how hard or soft they want to rock, but the tracks can seem whiney, and definitely conflict with and pale in comparison to the juggernaut “If We Only” that’s easily the strongest song on the album, as it embodies every angle of Red’s music from the newly infused electronic rock, to their signature strings.

By mostly shedding their old layer of skin and staying the course of modern hard rock, Red has found themselves seeming a little naked and a little more unremarkable within a done-to-death sound. They're now showing the generic elements of their post-grunge foundation more than before, but on Release the Panic they still play and feel like they’re their own band, and one that isn’t allowing themselves to be limited by the staple traits of their sound at that.



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user ratings (166)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
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...

Caleb C. (3)
Strung out....


Comments:Add a Comment 
toxin.
February 11th 2013


12605 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Damn, I can't agree at all here, but good review anyways.

breakingthefragile
February 11th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know it has a few really good reviews for it already, but there isn't a contributor
review for it yet, and I've wanted to review a Red album for a while now and didn't
want to pass up this chance. Hope you all like the review!

breakingthefragile
February 11th 2013


2961 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@xtoxin Thanks man. I really thought I was gonna hate this back when I only heard "Perfect Life" and "Release the Panic", but I really ended up digging the heavier tracks on this one.

Eclecticist
February 11th 2013


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

this album blows

tiesthatbind
February 11th 2013


7375 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You have a knack for defending hated albums, don't you? haha

Seriously though, nice work, I always like seeing alternative viewpoints when they're effectively backed up like this.

toxin.
February 11th 2013


12605 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

"@xtoxin Thanks man. I really thought I was gonna hate this back when I only heard "Perfect Life" and "Release the Panic", but I really ended up digging the heavier tracks on this one."

np. I could see someone who digs their heavier stuff enjoying this. For me, all the heavy stuff sounded identical & uninspired, but it's also worth noting that I've never been a fan of their heavy stuff (when it comes at the cost of melody, anyways).

fromtheinside
February 11th 2013


18717 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

eek

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 11th 2013


7097 Comments


Youre really pounding out the reviews man

DeadStarShine
February 11th 2013


775 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

this seemed pretty awful judging by the leaked songs

Minus.
February 11th 2013


2680 Comments


Did anyone expect this to be good?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 11th 2013


8371 Comments


Overall, this is a nice review, Alex. But, I know you've asked me for crit before, and oh the happy day, I feel like giving you a few pointers this time haha:

1. You have a tendency to compose run-on sentences, not only here, but in a lot of your reviews. It's not always a bad thing, but in sentences like this one

"While the album has the usual melodic ballads such as “Hold Me Now” and “The Moment We Come Alive” concerning their faith that don’t seem as grand, effective, or unique without orchestral characteristics present, Release the Panic mainly focuses on honing the band’s main strength outside of symphonies; that being the heaviness of their metal anthems."
you lose your stride midway through the sentence. This may be a personal thing, but it's one that has always stood out to me. Try reading your work out loud to see if it flows naturally.

2. the last paragraph is all kinds of messed up when it comes to the use of plural and singular. You can use plural when addressing the band by their name, but be consistent in your sentences. Example:
By mostly shedding their old layer of skin and staying the course of modern hard rock, Red has found themselves seeming a little naked and a little more unremarkable within a done-to-death sound.
Same thing with the next sentence.

EvoHavok
February 11th 2013


1444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good to see a positive review. "If we only" is definitely the strongest track.

Digging: At the Gates - At War with Reality

toxin.
February 11th 2013


12605 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

"1. You have a tendency to compose run-on sentences, not only here, but in a lot of your reviews. It's not always a bad thing, but in sentences like this one"

Not really a run-on sentence though. Grammatically it's correct, except that in this:


symphonies; that being the heaviness of their metal anthems


there shouldn't be a semicolon since the part after it isn't a clause. It should just be a comma.

Now if you mean it just doesn't read smoothly or reads like a run-on, that's a different matter.


Ignimbrite
February 11th 2013


5384 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

God damn, you have to be Sputnik's ballsiest contributor. Respect.

Digging: Jakob - Sines

fromtheinside
February 11th 2013


18717 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

with the most wrong opinion

PistolPete
February 11th 2013


3627 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah no

Digging: O'Brother - Garden Window

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2013


21454 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This aint so bad

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

Toondude10
September 26th 2013


4113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"The album’s weakest moments are its first two songs, Release the Panic and Perfect Life"

WRONG!

Digging: Hey Rosetta! - Second Sight



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