Like many old-school RED fans, I was disappointed with their previous album Release the Panic and its more somber, electronic-based sound. I was enticed by the hard rock band that made me want to headbang whenever one of their songs came up! I cannot count the number of times I’ve listened to End of Silence, Innocence and Instinct and Until We Have Faces – true rock albums, all tied together by RED’s characteristic mix of slow, melodic orchestral elements, hard-hitting guitar riffs and soaring vocals.

After hearing that RED’s fifth studio album, of RAGE and BEAUTY, was in the works I was hoping for an album that would go back to the sound that originally put them on the map.

Upon hearing the intro track “Descent” I felt a certain sense of excitement and anticipation….had my prayers been answered!? Is this the old RED that we know and love!? The slow, entrancing orchestral sound grips you, builds up and builds up until it finally breaks with heavy instrumentals and the stirring voice of lead singer, Michael Barnes. The haunting quality of his voice really grips you throughout of RAGE and BEAUTY, whether he’s singing a ballad or screaming at the top of his lungs, Barnes has you hooked.

My makeshift saviour
He left me right here in my chains
But still I whisper
(I’m calling out)
Still I call you

The orchestral sound flows throughout the album and links both the heavy and soft songs. “Shadow and Soul”, “Darkest Part” and “Fight to Forget” all gesture toward the heavy-rocking RED of old. “Of These Chains” serves as the rest in amongst this sea of headbanging craziness. A beautiful ballad that seems to be an essential part of the RED formula – “Pieces” (End of Silence), “Never Be the Same” (Innocence and Instinct).

I really believe that old-school fans of RED will be pleased with this return to the sound that has become their signature over the years. Like the albums of old, of RAGE and BEAUTY is made up of a wide variety of sounds with a series of build-ups and releases.

If you’re a long-time fan of the band or just looking for a Christian rock band that is shear quality, then this is definitely an album you shouldn’t miss!



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