RED-Release the Panic

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Red is an award winning Christian rock band that has toured with top names, like Flyleaf, Drowning Pool, and Godsmack. Their newest album, Release the Panic, delivers a strong message within an eclectic style of mainstream rock and heavy metal. This album sounds like a mixture of Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle and Trust Company. Their fourth album is definitely one to buy. The drums, bass intro, and Michael Barnes’ scream in the first song are an intense precursor to an awesome album.

In keeping with their previous albums, Red included two beautiful songs accompanied by piano. I always love a song that focuses on emotional vocals to break from the pounding drums and electric guitar solos. These songs, “hold me now” and “the moment we come alive,” progress to a harder ending. I prefer Red’s previous songs “pieces” and “hymn for the missing” as rock ballads. Ballads on a hard rock album can be very powerful. I felt that the ballads on Release the Panic could have left the piano and vocals alone to focus on the powerful lyrics.

As a fan of heavy metal, I was thoroughly pleased with the double-kick drums and Barnes’ varying screams. Barnes’ low growl in “damage” and mainstream rock vocals in other songs make each song sound completely different from the other. Then, he amazes you in the ballads. Surprisingly, Randy Armstrong’s bass has a strong presence that is nonexistent in many heavy metal bands. The low, resounding bass is something that you can feel in your skin. The musical building intro of “if we only” makes me feel like I should be in a mosh pit!

As much as I love this album, some of the songs do not seem to flow very well. I have to say, I’m partial to their End of Silence album. The electronic sounds are characteristic of Red’s style, but I found it to be too much. It loses effect after a while.

Red always offers a deep Christian message in their music. This album almost reads as a testimony. The first few songs remind the listener that life is short, and covering up sin with a fake life is unsuccessful. The next few songs bring up the pain, misery, and shame that come along with the sinful lifestyle. In “damage,” Barnes realizes that he only has himself to blame. Then, he begs that God take it all away and save him. “Die for you” describes what Jesus did for us.

“So far away” really spoke to me as Christ-follower who has struggled in my faith. God never pulls away from us. We do. When we feel like God is far way, we need to look within. As in “glass house,” we ask God to make us whole again. Release the Panic ends with “the moment we come alive.” The end of our struggle ends with the everlasting hope we have held on to. I couldn’t ask for a better way to finish the album.

All in all, Release the Panic is an amazing album that satisfies. I could see myself listening to it over and over again.

1.2/2 style
2/2 message
.5/1 replay ability
3.7 rating

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