"Release the Panic" (Provident; 2013)

Reviewed by Austin Rogers

If you’re not red for Red, then this album will turn you black and blue with its heavy guitar and its great vocals and pounding drums. This is the band's fourth album and there is not a bad song on it.

The first song on this disc, and second single, "Release the Panic," has heavy guitar and the vocals are just one step down from growling. The second song, and first single, "Perfect Life," has pounding drums and great guitar as well. The third track, "Die For You," has a cool sounding distorted guitar and an epic solo and some great harmony.

"Damage" has a great intro and great harmony like the song "Die For You." "Same Disease" has great guitar like the rest of the songs on the album. The seventh track, "If We Only," has wicked guitar riffs and power vocals just like about 99% of this disc. The ninth track, and third single, "Green House," has great vocals.

Even with ten songs on it, "Release the Panic," went to Number 1 on the Hard Rock Album Charts and Number 2 on the Rock Album Charts, plus went to Number 1 the Christian Album Charts as well.

Red: Michael Barnes – lead vocals; Anthony Armstrong – rhythm guitar, lead guitar, backing vocals; Randy Armstrong – bass, piano, backing vocals; Joe Rickard – drums, percussion.

For more information check out the bands website

"Innocence & Instinct" (Sony Music/Essential; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Red are back with the follow-up to their debut CD (2006's "End Of Silence") and, man, do they follow it up well. I love their sound and, since they have earned their studio legs, they come back with solid song structures and add some NIN vibes to a few songs. The driving guitar is still present along with the strings as background, the drums pound on a few songs and echo when the metal element is shining. This disc was inspired by a car crash that left Hayden Lamb, their drummer, injured. Sadly, he had to leave the band.

Red are Christian metal so they have lyrics that present a message. They don't shove anything down your throat except the guitar when it comes roaring in. They have an orchestra feel on a lot of their songs. It's not keyboards along with the guitar, it's almost a coupling of sounds. The vocals are strong and when Michael Barnes wants to scream a line he does so with confidence.

Red made history by becoming the first band in Christian rock to have a song debut at #1 with their single "Fight Inside." They also won the Dove award for best "Rock Album Of The Year" in 2008. They deserve all the shiny statues they receive; they have a great sound with a great message. Red also covers Duran Duran's hit song "Ordinary World" here. It's got a little more punch than when Simon and the boys released theirs back in 1992.

There are three versions of this album available: one is the standard disc, and the other has bonus tracks, three extra songs on the Japanese version. The deluxe disc also comes with a DVD that has their video for "Death Of Me" and a photo gallery. I've got the deluxe disc cause I wanted a little more Red in my head.\

Red: Michael Barnes - lead vocals; Anthony Armstrong - lead guitar, backing vocals; Randy Armstrong - bass, piano, backing vocals; Joe Rickard - drums, percussion.

For more information, check out or

"End of Silence" (Sony / BMG / Provident / Essential; 2006)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I just about gave up searching for information on this band. Try a Google search for “Red” ... my guess is you’ll get pages that number from 1 – 1,230,000,000. Good thing I’m patient and diligent so I can tell you about this awesome band from Nashville, TN. Red is Christian Metal but if you didn’t know that tidbit the lyrics could be interpreted with Mike Barnes just singing about anybody.

The music is heavy and the guitar smashes through the ghostly sounding orchestra that fills in each interlude. I’m one for strings in a song, especially if it’s coupled with a thick guitar, and Red offers that on all tracks. They also add piano into many of the tracks, you might be thinking they’re a poor man’s Linkin Park, but they’re not. It's more like Linkin Park plus Chevelle helped to influence them. The drums keep a steady echo with the guitar and the vocals are blasting most of the time. When Mike Barnes is singing he’s got a great voice; he pushes with emotion and can crescendo into a scream to escalate his point.

The lyrics are poignant but not pretentious. This band has dealt with real tragedy but they don’t sing about how God is their buddy and everything is okay. Addiction, regrets and past mistakes don’t force Red to sugarcoat their message. They hope that in a way people will connect with them and see a chance for redemption.

I spun this CD for about two weeks straight and I never got tired of it. Red has all the ingredients I need for a great metal band. Check this band out and listen to a few songs. I think you’ll agree: they’ve got staying power.

The best songs to pull you in are “Breathe Into Me,” “Let Go,” “Already Over,” “Wasting Time,” and “Already Over Pt. 2.”

Red: Mike Barnes – vocals; Anthony Armstrong – guitars; Jasen Rauch – guitars; Randy Armstrong – bass, piano; Hayden Lamb – drums.

For more information, check out or

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2013  by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Jun 2024 13:03:50 -0400.