The Red Chord – Fused Together In Revolving Doors

The Red Chord is a deathcore band that somehow managed to ensnare all those who claim to hate deathcore by playing fast and not having obvious breakdowns, thus convincing the ‘Job For A Cowboy SUCKS!!1!’ crowd that they could still feel good about themselves because The Red Chord ‘doesn’t count’.  This is stupid to anyone with even remote intelligence, but fortunately there’s only twenty people in the metal scene worldwide who can be lumped into that most prestigious of groups, so I suppose no one wins in this case.  In actuality, The Red Chord is one of those deathcore bands that really just managed to be in the right place at the right time, as there’s plenty of other artists who play a very similar style of music.  Whatever.

The Red Chord plays a technical, grinding variety of deathcore that occasionally feels a bit more at home alongside bands like Daughters than Napalm Death.  A decent enough comparison would be with a fast, more technical, more grinding version of Despised Icon.  The riffs are very vast and very technical, so much so that it’s hard to tell what’s going on sometimes.  There’s not much in the way of typical breakdowns; some slower, chuggier Beneath The Massacre sort of sections pop up from time to time, but in general it’s far from what you’d expect from metalcore-influenced music.  Vocals are fairly typical for this style of music, switching between a throaty growl and a high screech very regularly over the spastic riffing and constantly changing drumwork.  If you’ve heard technical deathcore, this is what it sounds like; while they weren’t the first to do it, The Red Chord did sort of set the pattern for this style of music with ‘Fused Together In Revolving Doors’.

The songs are fond of the classic blast/break shifts that plague modern grindcore (not that that’s a bad thing), resulting in what can become a grating listen to the uninitiated.  There’s a lot of guitar fills, drum fills, vocal fills, really any kind of fill they can find, clamping an emergency break on the fast blasting sections right before going right back into high gear.  In this respect, you could compare the music on this album very much to Cryptopsy’s ‘Whisper Supremacy’, though it’s not quite as constantly punishing as that release.  It has the same constant stop/starting infatuation and a relatively similar post-hardcore aesthetic.  The production is good; offers enough space while keeping the instruments coherent and everything is timed perfectly.

It’s a decent album.  I’ve heard a lot of deathcore and more specifically I’ve heard a lot of material very similar to this, so it doesn’t hold a lot of novelty.  I’m surprised that so many metalheads and grabbed onto this band as being particularly notable when even a brief foray into the deathcore scene would show a dozen bands just like them, but I don’t dictate the whims of metal.  It’s good if you’re into the style but not very necessary outside of it; I listen to it occasionally but it’s not a fixture of my CD player.  Buy it if you feel like or not if you don’t, it won’t make a big difference to you either way.

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~ by noktorn on September 1, 2008.

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