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Of Beauty and Rage


Michael Barnes – lead vocals

Anthony Armstrong – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Randy Armstrong – bass, piano, keyboard, backing vocals


            RED is an American rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. They formed in 2004 as a 5 piece band. They released their debut album in 2006. End of Silence offered up a huge single titled “Breathe Into Me” which peaked at #1 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. The band came back strong with their sophomore release Innocence & Instinct which debuted at #15 on the Billboard 200. The album won them the 2010 Dover Award for "Rock Album of the Year." The guys hit stores with their third release in February 2011. Until We Have Faces did well again and the guys hit the road as part of WinterJam and with Hinder early in the year. They also jumped on Kill Th3 Machin3 Tour as well as the Rock Allegiance Tour. Again within 2 years they released another album. This time the album debuted at #7. Release the Panic also was remixed and re-released in 2014. The newest release Of Beauty and Rage arrived yet again in February. It however, was accompanied by a full-length graphic novel inspired by their music. The album features 15 tracks. They get it going with “Descent” which is just a nice little intro that offers up some mystical sounds and runs right into “Imposter”. This track begins slow, but does build slightly until a short little burst arrives. They then place in the vocals in and the tunes slump off a little bit. They continually do that with in this track. The vocals stay pretty clean for most of the track, but they do add in some screaming vocals from time to time which add some spice to the song. It’s not a bad little number, but might not me something that I would play on a regular basis. “Shadow and Soul” rips off some nice guitars for a little intro period. The vocals then enter the fold with a soft spoken voice. After a nice verse the roaring vocals some screaming in to add some flavor and depth to the track. The music has an orchestra quality to it while the regular instruments sound solid as well. You can hear aspects of them from time to time while the track is progressing on, but the main attraction of the track are the vocals. “Darkest Part” is a solid number with crisp vocals and a good vibe. The guitars and drums work well together and provide a very nice platform for the vocals. There are moments that they are so well blended it’s near breathtaking. The track seems to go on a little bit too long as it pauses a few times, however the backing vocals work wonders in the track and even the screams sound great. “Fight to Forget” is a harder number with driving drums and a nice set of guitars. There are some soft moments that highlight the hard times. The vocals are pretty solid as well with their wide style range. They also place in some backing vocals. There are times it does seem a little clogged up with everything going on. I think some people will grab onto it while others will dismiss it. “Of These Chains” is a soft spoken number that sounds so elegant. The vocals alongside the keys provide a sweeping effect that comes over you without you even knowing. You can close your eyes and forget everything that is spinning out of control around you. It overcomes you in a great way. “Falling Sky” is a long number that offers up clean vocals as well as some screaming type. The music comes and goes the entire time as well. They transition pretty well from those shift changes each time. I do think it takes time to get used to, but once you do I think you will hang on to it. It’s a toss-up whether fans will grab onto this one or not. “The Forest” is a short little transition number that leads into “Yours Again” which is a hard driving track that rattles off well written lyrics and a solid set of tunes. It rolls along well and can be one that you might attach yourself to. The vocals are clean and you can easily sing right along with them. It may put you to sleep or into a trance, because of the vibe of the song. “What You Keep Alive” throws a lot at you. The second longest tune on the record begins in an odd fashion then adds in loads of backing vocals that scream over top the lead set. They also overload the tune with blended vocals that make it really hard to hear what’s going on. I’m really not a big fan of this one as it really doesn’t do it for me, it just has way too many moving and they are jumbled together. “Gravity Lies” opens up with a hard driving intro that gives way slightly when the vocals enter in. They then go through the verse before the backing vocals come screaming in, literally. There are those calm spots throughout the track that make those sound even more insane and intense. It really works your earbuds over. It has a feel of a big time number and I really like some of the guitars in the track. “Take Me Over” begins in decent fashion with a nice, but short little intro before the vocals come sweeping in with ease. The soft spoken voice offers up lyrics that I think fans can grab onto to. This track is a nice little number with those clear vocals and gliding music. It sounds really good and will stick with some people. “The Ever” is a slow sweeping tune with great vocals as well as some solid underlying backing vocals. The tunes are slow key as well with a bit of an orchestra feel to them in places. There are moments that the track is phenomenal sounding while other parts kind of puts you to sleep. It sounds solid, but I think it will get lost. “Part That’ Holding On” is another track that sweeps along with ease. The vocals are great and are easy to follow along with. It does seem to last a while, buts it’s not a bad track. It is one that you can let come up and play through while you are doing something around the house or in the yard. “Ascent” wraps up the album with a simple instrumental performance that will send a couple of shivers down your spine. Overall this is an okay album. There are spots that I do like and even love. However, there are some tracks that I’m not fond of. They don’t have the zest and the draw to me. There are too much going on in them and they don’t just sound good. The lyrics are well written and the music sounds solid. There are some great transitions and vibes throughout the record. I just feel that there is too much is going in places and it makes them forgettable and possible able to be skipped.


Rating: 7 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Impostor and Darkest Part


Track List:

  1. Descent
  2. Impostor
  3. Shadow and Soul
  4. Darkest Part
  5. Fight To Forget
  6. Of These Chains
  7. Falling Sky
  8. The Forest
  9. Yours Again
  10. What You Keep Alive
  11. Gravity Lies
  12. Take Me Over
  13. The Ever
  14. Part That’s Holding On
  15. Ascent


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