Nashville based Christian rockers Red recently unleashed their 4th album, titled Release the Panic. With an impressive stretch of number ones on the Christian charts, and some nice success crossing over into the mainstream rock genre, the band has matured into a juggernaut of rock.
I was recently offered the chance to review Release the Panic and that’s of course why you are reading this. As usual, I’ll hit what I feel are highlights, it’s up to you to discover the rest of the album. This is Initial Thoughts. The band is Red. The album is Release the Panic. Let’s do this!
The title track leads off the album. It’s also the lead single. In particular Red fashion, they aren’t afraid to bring the heaviness. Vocalist Michael Barnes displays his full range on this track, bringing screams, melodies and emotion to every note. At just over three minutes, this song will definitely be a strong one for radio for a long time to come. The song really gives me a sense that is was influenced heavily by their touring with Brian “Head” Welch and his band Love & Death. I’m not saying in any way, that should be considered a bad thing. I just get a feeling that the riff and ambience have that certain feel about them and I love it.
Perfect Life seeks to continue the adrenaline rush you just experienced with Release the Panic. It’s certainly not as heavy, but it is definitely more catchy and radio friendly. One thing that I do notice, is there has been no orchestration in either of the first two songs. That is an element that Red has become known for and in my opinion, something that sets them apart from the pack.
Bringing back the heaviness, is the track Damage. For me, this is my favorite track on the album thus far. With its heavy riffs, guitar squeals, layered vocals and elements of electronic music, this is an ambitious track, that is an absolute homerun in my opinion. I for one can not wait to see this one live.
Five songs into the album and still no orchestration. I have certainly enjoyed the album thus far, but I can’t say I’m not a little disappointed. Same Disease is a classic sounding Red song. This one , again just over 3 minutes, has single written all over it.
Hold Me Now is one that showcases the softer side of Red. This touching ballad introduces piano to the album and some of the more compelling lyrics on the album. This song will be massive for the band and it will certainly be very well deserved.
FINALLY! Seven tracks in, is what I’ve been waiting on. The heavy, the orchestration, the energy, the screams, the melody, the riffs that we have all become to love is unleashed in full force. If We Only just took over as my favorite track on this record. Excuse me, while I enjoy this one a few more times.
So Far Away, much like Hold Me Now, displays the tenderness in Michael Barnes vocals. It shows you the tremendous songwriting abilities that the band possesses and the clear production of Howard Benson. This, like several others, has hit written all over it.
Red has always been known to deliver songs that speak to you on many different levels. Release the Panic is certainly no exception. Although, I personally frown upon having much less orchestration on the album, a band must evolve to survive and I understand that.
Now, my biggest concern is the dubstep remixes on the deluxe version of the album. I hope that the introduction of more electronics and the removal of the orchestration is not the future of Red. For me, one Korn
disaster dubstep album is enough to know that I don’t want any more Korn dubstep albums.
9 out of 10 stars