Originally written by Erik Thomas.
Here it is. It’s the new album from The Red Chord and it’s slightly better than Clients. Will you lot shut the fuck up now?
All messing around aside, I’ll admit Clients was a tad disappointing after the almost genre creating Fused Together In Revolving Doors, and it seemed the band was a victim of their own success and now finds themselves aped and mimicked by countless teenagers with guitars and Myspace accounts.
Well, Prey For Eyes (I highly recommend you read the linear notes to how the album got its name), the band’s third album certainly improves on the underwhelming Clients, but might also upset die hards with some surprisingly experimental yet mature injections to the band’s slathering death/grind/hardcore template, that simply had been beaten to death, again resulting in a band that isn’t as dynamic as they were on their groundbreaking debut.
Granted, the vocals of Guy Kozowyk are still menacing and intimidating as hell (though still obsessed with spoken word outbursts) and the band is as tight musically (especially guitarist Gunface McKenzie) as anyone out there in the genre, but as slightly more focused and challenging Prey For Eyes is, I still cant imagine myself listening to this album, (as with Clients) on more than a perfunctory basis (the band’s savage live performance is a different story). Still, while the album is playing, the veracious mix of growls, squeals, grooves and blasts is ferocious, if now standard fare for the saturated ‘grindcore meets hardcore in a knife fight’ genre.
Opener “Film Critiques and Militia Men” opens an immediate visceral wound, going straight for the jugular and that’s followed by the more tenaciously complex “Dread Prevailed” and blistering, cool titled “Send the Deathstorm”. It’s on the title track where some of the experimentation creeps in. After a few minutes of typically savage Red Chord chaos, the track spirals into a moody, off kilter instrumental number that’s creepy, but slightly unexpected. Then there is the Mirai Kawashima (Sigh) penned and synth flocked instrumental “It Came From Over There”, that just seems out of place. Not so out of place are the final moments of closer “Seminar (Final Fantasy)”, with a strangely ambient, relaxing and enjoyable instrumental climax and closure to the album showing the old dog does have some new tricks.
Still though the The Red Chord do deliver some of their trademark monstrous moments such as “Responsibles”, “Midas Touch”, and “Tread on the Necks of Kings” all glossed with a veteran band’s confident stride and delivery of a qualtiy, intense album that shows why the band is so respected and unfortunately copied and at times surpassed in the genre.