Red (USA)
Gone


3.0
good

Review

by Toondude USER (72 Reviews)
October 26th, 2017 | 144 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Still (barely) alive

The lyrical line “I'm still alive, what's it all for"” is probably the most perfect description I can give Gone. For a band that's been in the foray of alternative/symphonic metal since their inception, they've managed to prove themselves that they are one of the more unique groups out there. Combining orchestral composition with raw and crunchy post-grunge is certainly no easy task, and Red essentially perfected it with their second album Innocence & Instinct and have been trying to recapture that same process several times over. Since then the band fell short several times over the past eight years and have struggled to maintain their relevancy. Release the Panic's whack at drawing more mainstream audiences was met with negative reactions from fans, Until We Have Faces lacked personality and memorability, and Of Beauty and Rage was an overlong, overproduced slog in a failed attempt to recapture the glory days (and their detractors). Gone is pretty much what the album title implies, it seems that their inspiration has vanished, at least somewhat.

That's not to say the band has fallen into the deep end. Red still manages to crank out enough energy and enough decent songwriting skills to create some solid tunes. Gone features some of the groups heaviest material with openers 'Step Inside, the Violence' and 'Still Alive'. Michael Barnes is still at his peak performance with his soulful cleans and his harsh, desperate-sounding screams ripping through both tracks, while tracks such as 'Losing Control', 'A.I.', and closer 'Singularity' masterfully create a bleak and haunting atmosphere that is certainly helped by Rob Graves's production. However, instead of using the usual orchestral composition to filter in that atmosphere that the band have been widely known to use, most of Gone's atmospheric layering is done through electronics, something that Red is no stranger towards. While it certainly works in some areas, this is where the shortcomings come in. Many of the production choices at times devolve into borderline Starset-worship, the title track being a perfect example (ironically enough, Dustin Bates co-wrote two tracks). If there is something to prove about that part in 'Gone' where Barnes sings “gaa-ohh-aa-ooonnne” it's that Red can not do the poppier side of metal correctly. Hell they manage to butcher the Sia cover 'Unstoppable' if that didn't convince you. But here's the one thing that Red has always had a problem with, and that's they've never managed to make their instrumentation stand out. A lot of what they write in terms of their guitars, bass and drums...it's just never really interesting at all. Granted, Red was never about that in the first place, but time and time again they fail to really bring out any form of talent with the Armstrong brothers. There's nothing noteworthy about them, and therefore there's nothing memorable.

Going back to the lyrical line I mentioned in the beginning, Gone effectively states that Red are still around, but found themselves at a creative halt. Sure Michael Barns can still deliver a kick ass vocal performance and some of the production elements help give Red a unique edge in the sub-genre of alt metal, but what else is there" There's nothing new or noteworthy to be said about this record other than they did a cover of Sia (a really odd choice if you think about it). It's an unremarkable staple in Red's otherwise solid discography that more or less keeps meddling in Rob Graves' self-indulgence. So after those 37 minutes, Red just needs to answer the question they asked, “What's it all for"”



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user ratings (92)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Benny20 (3.5)
A solid outing that ultimately falls short of its predecessors....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Toondude10
October 26th 2017


13864 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

disappointed, once the title track was released I got worried



c/c is welcome as usual, one of two reviews I hope to complete this weekend

Digging: Thank You Scientist - Terraformer

William21
October 26th 2017


419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haven't had a chance to listen yet, but I've heard the 30-second samples and it does sound like a little bit of a letdown relative to the rest of their discography. Unstoppable does indeed sound atrocious.



But it'll probably still be a 3.5 or 4 for me. I've loved all their other albums save for Release the Panic.

Toondude10
October 26th 2017


13864 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Unstoppable isn't the worst song on here imo actually. Still though, they really shouldn't do poppier songs.

Lucman
October 26th 2017


2711 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review! Haven't heard the whole thing yet, but the only pre-release single I liked was Losing Control, the other two were fairly standard fare. Haven't liked anything they've put out though so it looks like this isn't going to change that.

Digging: Harmonium - L'heptade

TooLateToGoBack
October 26th 2017


1965 Comments


Good God at that album cover.

Ebola
October 26th 2017


3589 Comments


what the holy hell is that album art

Digging: Allfather - And All Will Be Desolation

bbgames
October 26th 2017


551 Comments


bentheREDfan would be disappointed with your score

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2017


15974 Comments


"what the holy hell is that album art"
[2]

Snake.
October 26th 2017


21702 Comments


christopher geriak invested in this album being released so if you want anyone to blame for that album cover look no further than him

Digging: Spielbergs - This Is Not The End

StarkMusic
October 27th 2017


1 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree, I'm disappointed as well. Some songs feel super underdeveloped like "Step Inside" and "A.I.". I knew it would be hard to top Of Beauty and Rage, but most of this just sounds way too much like Starset.

Lucman
October 27th 2017


2711 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm getting some Starset vibes from this album, but as I predicted, it's boring overall. Not going to revisit this one.

gordodustin
October 27th 2017


265 Comments


I'm still working my way through this album, but I disagree with you in general about Of Beauty and Rage. Personally, I think it's their best album by far. Fight to Forget, Gravity Lies and Falling Sky are among their heaviest tracks ever recorded and the album was quite progressive for them. So far, Gone is a step backwards but we'll see if it grows on me.

Toondude10
October 27th 2017


13864 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like Of Beauty and Rage, but man it's it such a slog to get through. Sure certain songs are great but it's just an overblown mess of sifting through Rob Graves self-indigent bullshit. That being said, Gravity Lies is one of their best songs hands down.



I actually think this is their weakest album. Funny thing is that I think there's less strings on here than there was on Release the Panic.

BlackwaterPork
October 27th 2017


4390 Comments


Such an awful album cover ugh

Beardog
October 27th 2017


2767 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed, songs like Losing Control still smash, but when a DJ remixes a Red track and it's better than the original, you know you've fucked up.



The only bad thing about this record are Gone and Still Alive in my opinion, I think the rest of the tracks are really good. It's hilarious how the reduxes and remixes on the deluxe edition are better than the original tracks. They should've just gotten JSapp's remix on the full record, just like the redux version of Unstoppable and Still Alive.

PistolPete
October 27th 2017


5001 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

So...so disappointed. I wasn't expecting much though after the first two songs they released. Just hurts to see that the finished product is about as bad as I thought it would be.

Toondude10
October 27th 2017


13864 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I mean it's not like the whole album is terrible, it's just so unremarkable. That being said 'Singularity' is fantastic.

Beardog
October 27th 2017


2767 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If they replaced songs on the original record with the ones from the deluxe edition this record would be a hard 4. This record is better than I expected it to be. The main singles are the only 'meh' tracks, combined with Unstoppable. The acoustic rendition they made of the cover is awesome though, wish that was the one on the regular CD.

Toondude10
October 27th 2017


13864 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I prefer the original version of Still Alive, the other one isn't very good.

Beardog
October 27th 2017


2767 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like Red's laidback, symphonic songs. It's a shame that the songs that aren't 'Red-on-autopilot' turned out a lil shitty. I still think the last half of this record has some hangers though



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