Review by Dom Vigil
Red’s new album, of Beauty and Rage is a theatrical masterpiece. Right off the bat, this album hosts a huge sound that many bands strive to achieve, yet miss the mark. Red, however, have created a captivating, memorable, and most of all huge release with of Beauty and Rage.
The big sound that Red creates with this album starts right at the beginning with a theatrical orchestra intro which eventually explodes into the full band. “Impostor” wastes no time, bringing the album in strong with an explosive sound alongside the gorgeous string section. Within the first two songs, it’s apparent that Red have pulled out all of the stops with this one. Especially within the first few tracks, the string section adds a sense of urgency and makes the album feel bigger, almost similar to a movie score or soundtrack.
Following “Impostor” is “Shadow and Soul,” which hits you like a punch in the beginning with really heavy, hard-hitting guitar work, but eventually blossoms into a huge chorus with soaring vocal work coupled with the orchestra. Without sounding too cheesy, this track totally has a “shadow” in the deep, dirty guitar parts and unclean vocals, as well as a “soul” in the bright sounding, enormous chorus. Then, the piano comes in about halfway through the song, throwing you through another loop that you didn’t expect, making “Shadow and Soul” a total masterpiece. That’s not to say that it’s the only strong track on the album, though. No, song after song, Red just seem to up their game. The following track, “Darkest Part,” feels like a total rock song, but calling it rock and writing it off as simple would be wrong - there’s way too much going on in “Darkest Part” for it to be a simple rock track. The guitar and string section in this song are perfectly in sync and compliment the vocals amazingly, especially in the huge, memorable and melodic chorus.
“Of These Chains” is a much needed slower song toward the middle of the album. It really slows things down and provides a versatility and change of sound that is much needed after four (nearly exhaustingly) huge tracks. “Of These Chains” gives you a chance to breathe and really enjoy the emotion and incredible songwriting on this album. And the best part? A slow song like “Of These Chains” is able to transition into a heavier track like “Falling Sky” so seamlessly that you barely even notice it.
About halfway through the album, though, it becomes apparent that some of the songwriting patterns are a little repetitive: slow intros that ease you into a big guitar part with the verse, then a huge, melodic chorus that is supplemented by the orchestra. The similar song structures on tracks like “Falling Sky,” “Fight To Forget” or “What Keep You Alive” make them a little hard to distinguish, but that being said, there are absolutely more strong songs than weak ones on of Beauty and Rage. Stand outs include previously mentioned, “Darkest Part” and “Of These Chains” as well as “Yours Again,” which is a total love song. “Gravity Lies” stands out because of its fast paced beginning, heavily guitar driven sound and strong unclean vocals, while “Take Me Over” is unique because it’s almost verging on poppy (or as poppy as Red can get) with a really upbeat and melodic sound.
As a whole, though, this album is huge, and individually, each track is strong in its own way. There’s so much going on in each individual song (as well as the album as a whole) making of Beauty and Rage an album that you should devote your full attention to in order to appreciate it all. It feels like a big budget movie, and the result is a theatrical experience that you won’t get from just any album.
The great thing about of Beauty and Rage is that each song feels like a new chapter. You don’t really know what to expect with each song, and that’s what makes this album such a great listen. You can try to go into this album with preconceived ideas of what it should sound like (being a fan of Red, or listening to them for the first time) but nothing will be able to prepare you for the journey that of Beauty and Rage will put you through.
Listen to "Darkest Part" or "Shadow and Soul"