Seasoned rockers RED are back with their latest offering, Of Beauty and Rage. Despite experimenting with sounds for their last release, Release the Panic, the band seems to be returning to sounds that are reminiscent of Innocence and Instinct. More so than previous efforts, this album is interwoven with orchestra-like strings throughout almost every track, giving the overall project a stronger depth, while adding more emotion to the lyrics presented. The rest of the musical composition contained on Of Beauty and Rage reflect the rock sounds that the group has already proven to have mastered.
There are a few musical elements that RED’s latest record brings. It contains an instrumental opening with Descent, as well as having a mid-way point intermission with the track The Forest. If a moment of silence could be found, it would be found with the most beautiful on the project, “Of These Chains”, which is primarily driven by piano and strings. Of Beauty and Rage contains the rock sound that fans of RED have grown accustomed to. This can be found with songs like Darkest Part, Falling Sky, and Shadow and Soul. After “The Forest”, the album does tend to mellow out (if that’s possible with rock) in closing the project, but not before jarring up the set with the raucous, guttural scream-filled Gravity Lies.
Of Beauty and Rage might not be considered the most innovative and different musical release from Red; however, in looking beyond the music, what the lyrics pinpoint are worthy of taking a listen. It is definitely a reflection of a war that goes on inside our human mind, emotions, and will. We are usually the only ones who can truly understand the darkest parts of ourselves. In light of that, Red does an excellent job of looking into the soul of man and portraying the war that most of us might never see in others.
While not entirely an album that shows some form of light to step into from the darkness, sometimes it’s just the music that can speak that there is peace (e.g. The Forest). Of Beauty and Rage is on point in many different ways: the lyrics, Barnes’ deep screams, and being an overall solid hard rock album. It does have its misses, such as, the strings detracting from the grungy impact that hard rock usually has. The album also tends to musically meld together at points. Despite what could be considered “detractors,” there are enough moments throughout the tracks that will grab and cause the listener to relate to the story that is being communicated. Essentially, that is what music is about: drawing others into the story and welcoming them into the journey. RED does that by inviting the listener to look at the dark parts of ourselves, but realize that there is a story of beauty to be found as well.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Essential Records
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Buy it: Amazon - iTunes
Shadow and Soul (5:44)
Darkest Part (4:02)
Fight To Forget (3:28)
Of These Chains (3:53)
Falling Sky (5:26)
The Forest (0:55)
Yours Again (4:49)
What You Keep Alive (5:22)
Gravity Lies (4:33)
Take Me Over (3:51)
The Ever (4:10)
Part That's Holding On (4:45)
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As we smiled at the people we met on our walk I wondered at the social custom that requires face-to-face congeniality on a bike path among strangers who would soon be in our respective cars fighting over a lane change. It’s easier to be mad at people when we can’t see their faces.