Rumbling out of the UK Midlands, home of Sabbath, Priest, and Napalm Death, comes Left For Red with the first long-player, All Things Known and Buried, after two well-recieved previous EPs. While their geographical roots may suggest a certain classic metal sound, Left For Red is more a modern heavy metal band. Now, before you cringe at that, you will hear some of those musical roots in their music, though subtle.
Modern metal is characteristically harsh before anything else. Harmony and melody may be, and usually are, there, but often somewhere in the back seat or arrive unexpectedly as an afterthough. Left For Red leans more towards the former. Their harshness comes first from the genre's naturally aggressive, sometimes d-tuned, riffage and battering rhythm section. The second core modern metal is, of course, abrasive and harsh vocals. Vocalist LC Decoy offers the usual hardcore to screamo to death vocal range. He does sing clean at times, but it's mostly the former. Yeah. Okay. You know what high regard I hold this vocal style. Sometimes, or maybe mostly, his voice is all you hear in a song. He basically overwhelms both Reborn and Echoes of Strangers.
Basically, with this album you have to look for the bright spots, which can be a fleeting endeavor. For instance, Shatter has a great groove, a melody you can catch, and a nice guitar solo. Yeah, somebody can actually play lead guitar in this band. Surpise. Another one comes within Master of the Game, another groove monster, and suprisingly good. Then there's the totally unexpected, like the simple piano composition Dystopia Rising. It's a lovely contrast to the harshness that surrounds this album. Another surprise is Solace In Memories, nearly a classic metal number. It's d-tuned, still heavy, but not as harsh, with an obvious melody, a large guitar leads, and Decoy reigning in the screamo crap. Nevertheless, I remain ambivalent about Left For Red and All Things Known and Buried, being tired of modern metal obsessive hardcore harshness and wacko vocals. But they seem to have found an audience in their native England, and that's a good thing.
I remain ambivalent about Left For Red and All Things Known and Buried, being tired of modern metal obsessive hardcore harshness and wacko vocals. But they seem to have found an audience in their native England, and that's a good thing.
In the early Eighties, one of the first American metal bands that caught my interest was New York's Riot, founded by guitarist Mark Reale (1955-2012). Albums like Narita and Fire Down Under were classics of ... [ Read More ]