"Prey for Eyes" (Metal Blade; 2007)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

The new offering from The Red Chord is not easy to take in at first. My initial impression was that is was largely death metal due to the vocals. Yet, upon further examination, I was beginning to hear some classic speed metal riffs spiraling around here and there. Flashes of prime Slayer, New Jersey's Whiplash and even Exodus came to mind at moments. And there are also passages that may lend themselves to a more hardcore approach as well. 

The songs are relatively short, but the majority are very busy and occasionally become rather frantic in style. I think that approach is one of the major pluses for this band. The odd riffs and slightly bizarre pacing is what made this album interesting. It took a few tracks for me to realize what they were doing though, but then I began to settle in and appreciate it. 

I still feel a little unsettled when an album like this has strong production values. I guess that's because I grew up in a time when speed and death metal albums normally had a fuzzier sound to the production. That's not a complaint, just something that I am aware of. 

Although the music drew me in, the vocals were far more standard for this type of music. They may have been slightly more distinct, but nothing special. The only other negative is that often the song structures seem to begin to build toward something greater, but they never quite manage to complete this and the songs just end. Now, that could just be me having a different sense of where they should be going, but I couldn't shake the feeling that if some of the songs were slightly longer that these guys could have even gotten more out of their music. 

The Red Chord seem to have some genuine potential and I hope they keep pushing and growing beyond this album.

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"Clients" (Metal Blade; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

“Clients” is the latest release from The Red Chord and it is a brutal, unforgiving, monstrous disc that is a great example of a crossover record. Except that this type of crossover hasn’t been done this well in a long time. Rather than the standard crossover of hardcore and metal, “Clients” shows The Red Chord to be more of a hardcore/grindcore crossover.

Featuring extreme technicality and staggering playing and songwriting chops “Clients” is a monumental release for The Red Chord. On the basis of their technical skills and willful exclusion of melody, The Red Chord have separated themselves from their fellow Massachusetts-based bands. I wouldn’t quite call “Clients” progressive in terms of its willingness to forsake sheer brutality but certainly daring in its attempts to mix up the composition of the songs and song structures.

The music is technical and brutal without being impossible to follow. Vocalist Guy Kozowyk is harsh and often straddles the line between hardcore screams and death metal grunts/growls. It’s an intriguing mix that while certainly more popular over the last few years hasn’t been done this well in a while.

“Clients” is a must-purchase for fans of extreme music. “Clients” was also re-released in 2006 in a deluxe format.

“Clients” was produced by The Red Chord and Zeuss.

The Red Chord is Guy Kozowyk on vocals, Mike “Gunface” McKenzie and Johnny Fay on guitars, Gregory Weeks on bass, and Brad Fickeisen on drums.

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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 © 2007  by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.