Red is a band that isn’t afraid to push the envelope of aggressiveness in its music. Ever since the band’s debut in 2006, fans have heard the band mature in sound as well as lyrics. The band’s latest offering, “Of Beauty and Rage” – which was released today – sets an even higher bar musically.
The album begins with beautiful strings in the intro track, “Descent,” which have become a staple in Red’s discography. The track is appropriately titled, as the music takes on a darker tone that is maintained through most of the album, starting with the second track “Imposter.” The track, “Fight to Forget,” has a sad and angry tone to it that is conveyed by thrashing guitars, screaming vocals and strings in the background.
The next track, “Of These Chains,” is quite a contrast from the earlier songs. The song is primarily vocals accompanied by a haunting piano, which combine to create an achingly beautiful ballad. Not dwelling in one place for too long, Red throws us back with “What You Keep Alive” into a dark part of the album and the thrashing music that is found throughout “Of Beauty and Rage.”
Beginning with “Take Me Over,” the album becomes more relaxed. The songs still incorporate drums, guitars and bass that have made the first part of the album sound hard, but each aspect is done in a more toned-down fashion. The final song of the album is purely strings, sounding similar to the intro but ascending into the album’s final notes.
“Of Beauty and Rage” not only exhibits a dark edge in the music, but also in its lyrics. One of the lead singles, “Darkest Part,” discusses hidden vices that aren’t seen every day. The other lead single, “Yours Again,” is dialogue between the singer and God. The singer is inviting God back into his life after drifting from God. The singer remembers a time where God helped him come out of a difficult circumstance triumphantly in “Take Me Over:” “Traces of your voice/I know it, I know it so well/Walking in the storm/I can feel you, I can feel you with me.” Themes of redemption in the face of adversity surface frequently over the course of the album.
Red delivers one of its best efforts in this album. Brutal guitar riffs, haunting and beautiful strings, and introspective lyrics are on full display in “Of Beauty and Rage.” Every aspect of the album screams good quality, from the sequence of the songs to the album art. Listeners wanting a good message to listen to while enjoying hardcore rock should definitely give this album a chance.
Conner Ghiz is a sophomore professional writing and information design major and arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. He loves listening to music and going to Roosters Wings.