RED - Until We Have Faces

Album cover
RED
Until We Have Faces
RED - Until We Have Faces Review rating:
2
User rating:
Average: 3.6 (9 votes)

The current state of the music industry poses quite a difficult challenge for Christian artists; the various stigmas and biases that come with that association are almost always detrimental in creating a diverse fan base, and raise a large red flag cautioning listeners to stay away. However, the Nashville-born RED has done a lot to remove those biases. Their debut End of Silence received many awards and critical acclaim, inside and outside the Christian sphere. With the release of Innocence & Instinct, Red shrugged off the sophomore slump, outselling their debut by several thousand copies and receiving unique rewards of its own, proving again that Christian music can hold its own ground.

In spite of their past successes, their newest release Until We Have Faces is nothing more than recycled riffs and lazy songwriting that a third release would hardly merit. A rough-edged, unorganized collection of songs fill the spaces in between the two or three decent songs on the album, which aren’t too impressive by themselves, either. It has more than its traces of media-refined rock, with a more “approachable” take on hard rock that can’t possibly be good news, considering the plethora of radio-friendly rock that already exists.

The worst part is the extreme case of déjà vu one encounters while listening to this album. Slow ballads like “Let It Burn” and “Hymn For the Missing” are both generic and repetitive, hearkening to older tracks like “Hide” and “Ordinary World”. The same crunchy, nu-metal guitar intros and symphonic lacings don’t stray too far from the standard formula. The energetic, explosive side of RED is slightly more promising, with standouts like the opener “Feed the Machine” and “Watch You Crawl”.

By itself, Until We Have Faces is NOT terrible. It can easily contend with the likes of Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, etc. by delivering both hard rock hooks and softer melodies. But the largest disappointment is that the album fails to show a side of RED that we haven’t seen before. In a music industry where both the judgmental eye is constantly on Christian bands, and the willing wallets of music consumers is constantly shrinking, it is a safe move to skip this album.

1. Feed the Machine
2. Faceless
3. Lie to Me (Denial)
4. Let It Burn
5. Buried Beneath
6. Not Alone
7. Watch You Crawl
8. The Outside
9. Who We Are
10. Best Is Yet to Come
11. Hymn For the Missing
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