RED – Until We Have Faces

By Joshua Clark on January-31-2011 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , | Share

RED – Until We Have Faces
Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/53
4.1 (46 votes)

Band: RED

Title: Until We Have Faces

Label: Essential Records

Release Date: 2/1/2011

Reviewer: Joshua Clark

Tracklisting:

  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

RED has been busy since their debut release of End Of Silence back in 2006. They kind of came out of nowhere and since then have garnered quite a bit of success. Having released two strong albums with End Of Silence and Innocence & Instinct, along with relentless touring it’s not too big of a surprise. RED now come back releasing their 3rd studio album and the big question is does this album hold up to their past releases? I have been following RED since their debut and while not my favorite band they do make some really solid heavy radio rock and rise above much of their competition. So just figuring I’d enjoy this as much as their past releases I went ahead and ordered this from Family Christian Stores; I was lucky enough that my preorder came quite a few days earlier than the release date. I pretty much got what I expected with this release from RED. There is no doubt this sounds like RED and it displays the sound you have grown to expect from the band.  This can be both a good and a bad thing depending on whether you really like their sound or if you’re not the biggest fan.

Musically RED can be compared to a number of bands leading in the mainstream rock world as well as a number of Christian rock bands. The difference is RED does tend to try to push the envelope a little more in the realm of rock music and is one of the more enjoyable bands.  They have the heavy riffs to drive the songs, mid-tempo drums, and then the symphonic sounds fused with the rock. But even with that being the case, the band at times is sounding too similar album to album and in this within the album as well. I won’t deny the band makes some great songs and that I listen to their music a fair amount; I would like the band so much more if they had a little more variety though.  Another thing I was a little disappointed about is I’m not feeling as much of the “heavy rock feel” from RED anymore. They have a got a little more radio friendly here and yes they are heavy enough to not disappoint but they have lost a little of that extra muscle. Probably what doesn’t help with this is there a number of ballads or slower tracks that make the album seem soft. This isn’t bad because the band can make some nice rock ballads that go perfectly with the strings that RED throws in all their songs. It’s just when I was really hoping for the band to get a little heavier they kind of slid the other way, but that is just my personal taste.

In the vocal department Mike Barnes is just as strong as ever. He has a really strong voice that can be intense and at other times even pretty, which you can’t say about every rock vocalist.  So no complaints there, Mike puts a lot of passion into everything he sings and easily draws the listener in. There is a small amount of screams sprinkled throughout the album but if that’s not your thing don’t worry it’s not there too much. Which for someone like me that was a letdown. In their debut album he showed off quite a bit more screams and he actually had a really good scream that added some great elements to their songs. That had dwindled down to hardly anything with the most noticeable being in “Feed The Machine.” Otherwise it is just a background effect sprinkled in a few other tracks or some brief scream segments.

Lyrically the band has never disappointed in the past by having an uplifting spiritual message and displaying their faith in a clear way but by never being too blunt. This is also the case here and the band tackles some good topics. The message of the album could be summed up in finding your true identity. “Faceless” has a great message of going down a path of hollowness in life and spurs on that search for what truly makes up your identity. Other songs continue this idea as well as finding hope in destruction and in a cold world. Overall there is a redeeming quality on the album and always pointing to the true source that gives us our identities and one that lets us define ourselves through Him.

“Feed The Machine” was a very wise track to start the album off with; it is heavy and melodic, having some well-placed screams. This was one of my favorite tracks and it would have been nice to have a few more like this. “Lie To Me (Denial) is also a good rock track and it has a very catchy chorus. “Buried Beneath” is another of my favorites. It has more subdued verses but picks up in the chorus and has some of my favorite lines in the chorus:

Finally breaking so where are you now/?It’s been such a long time/?But I’ve tried to live without/?I’m suffocating I need you to breathe/?So reach down and pull me up/?Pull me up before I am buried beneath

“Faceless,” “Watch You Crawl,” and “The Outside” also bring the rock and are decent tracks, they just don’t stick out as well. “Who We Are” actually has a bit of a different rock sound from the rest of the album and is a pretty good track.

While the rest aren’t necessarily true ballads they are a lot softer and more laid back tracks. “Not Alone” and “Hymn For The Missing” would be considered ballads and pull this sound off the best. Unfortunately I haven’t seen a ballad yet that matches up to “Pieces” off of End Of Silence.

Overall: RED shows they know how to do heavy radio rock really well. So while this is a pretty decent album most of the tracks flow into one another and don’t do enough to diversify each of the tracks to make the album something amazing. I’m going to give the album a 6 based off our scoring system.The band made a solid rock album, it just doesn’t stand out as spectacular. There is no doubt this is some of the best mainstream rock out there and I’m glad RED’s message can be spread to such a large audience. There good at what they do but as someone who has followed them from the beginning I don’t think this is their strongest release and I’m just hoping for something stronger from a band who has showed they are capable of making solid music. Nevertheless if you enjoy RED or any radio rock you will love this album. And for anyone else it’s worth checking out, even though it’s not their best I know I will still be playing this a fair amount.

RED - Until We Have Faces, 4.1 out of 5 based on 46 ratings

Click here to list all the current reviews by Joshua Clark

About the author Joshua Clark

A college student who really loves music, art, and God. I like a variety of music, heavy rock or metal mainly but pop/rock or worship music also gets it's fair share of listening time. View all posts by Joshua Clark

67 Responses to 'RED – Until We Have Faces'

  1. Chandler A. says:

    Good review, I couldn’t agree more. I too was hoping for them to get a bit heavier or for them to do something different from their previous records :P

  2. Austin says:

    Can you please explain your scoring system to me? I often find your rating system at first glance is too critical, then I read the review and find out it wasn’t as critical as I thought it would be. Where does the 6 stand in playability?

  3. Joshua Clark says:

    If you hover over the question mark under the album image it explains all the different scores. So in this case a 6 was a “More Highs Than Lows But Very Generic Effort.” As far as playability for the album if you enjoy rock its a great album, just some of the songs blend together and sound alike. But if you have liked anything by RED before you will enjoy it. Hope that helps!

  4. Adrian says:

    RED does what they do well, and the new album doesn’t vary far from the RED formula, but you have to give them credit for the concept of searching and finding TRUE identity. That is the main theme of this record, and you have to give them credit. I wrote a thorough review myself and recently spoke with Michael and Randy about the new record. Interview and audio (posted soon) will be up here.

    http://adrianhummel.com/yosite/?p=188

  5. Steve says:

    I’m hoping to hear some more singles before I make a final decision on this album, but for now I have pretty much lost interest in them.

  6. Joshua Clark says:

    And if anyone want’s to pick up RED’s “Until We Have Faces” this week, Best Buy from 2/1 – 2/5 has it for $5.99 in stores or online.

  7. Andrew says:

    I think it’s noteworthy that the band tunes really low, one of the songs on the album is even in Drop G. (which is 3 semitones above a standard bass) Are the softer tracks still tuned low?

  8. Brandon says:

    I’ll be buying this from Best Buy this week

  9. dacheat says:

    I kind of agree with the review, but I do disagree with the part about it not being heavier and having less screaming. I’ve noticed at least as much screaming as there was on the last album. I&I only really had 3 songs with screams “Fight Inside”, “Death of Me”, and “Out from Under”. So far on UwHF I remember screams on “Faceless”, “Feed the Machine”, “The Outside”, and “Watch you Crawl”. I could even be missing some on the new album since I don’t know it that well yet.

    Oh, scratch that. Just heard some screams on “Who we are” too.

    • dacheat says:

      It’s definitely not anything new, but that’s not a bad thing for RED.

    • dacheat says:

      And there’s a legit breakdown on the final track on the album.

    • dacheat says:

      Sorry for the quad post… Anyways, did anyone notice that there are two versions of UwHF on iTunes? They’re exactly the same (Price and everything) except one has “Until we have Faces” as the final track on the album and it’s an album only track.

      Just something to be aware of if you’re buying on iTunes or if you’re going somewhere else and they don’t have that song.

      I highly recommend getting it too. It’s probably their heaviest song ever.

    • Joshua Clark says:

      Yeah I guess that is true it is about the same as their last album as far as screaming is concerned. Which I had been disappointed how much less was on I&I than their debut as well, but I’ll take what I can get. Personally I would like more screaming cause I think he has a pretty solid scream. Didn’t know about the “Until We Have Faces” track, I liked what I heard from the minute and a half preview from iTunes.

  10. dacheat says:

    I don’t remember much on their debut either, and I’ve been listening to it quite a bit in anticipation of this album. I think you’re misremembering how heavy they were on their debut. Or I could be the wrong one, but the only songs that I remember that had screams were “Breathe into me”, “Let Go”, and maybe “Wasting time”. That album I know for sure had more “ballad” songs than this one did. Well, I guess that depends on your definition of “ballad”. EoS had some tweener songs that could really go either way.

    • Joshua Clark says:

      “Wasting Time” had some as well as the others you listed. Along with some in “Break Me Down” and “Give It All Away.” And your right it really isn’t that much more. I may just find it that way since I had really liked that album. Album to album they probably aren’t that different in how heavy they are. I just feel they are a lot more polished up now than they were then, which gives off a different feel in my eyes.

    • dacheat says:

      Yeah I can see that. I would like to see more “intense” screams like on “Feed the Machine”. All in all, it’d probably be an 8 for me, but I’m a bit of a fanboy haha…

    • Joshua Clark says:

      Yeah it would be great to see more of those, I really liked the screaming on “Feed the Machine”. Fair enough, I had been floating between a 6 and a 7. As you can see I settled with the 6 but it’s not an awful album by any means.

  11. They got softa? Thats wierd. The 2 new trax i herd i thot wer a lil hevia than ther past 2 albums.

  12. Austin says:

    Yeah, the extra song brings the heavy back into the album from what I can tell (iTunes preview :P). Really wish the label didn’t go the “exclusive song” route and had just kept it on the album.

  13. EchelonX says:

    I bought the album off iTunes, and never saw an “exclusive” track.. maybe a preorder option? They only had the retail version when I looked.

    • Austin says:

      Yes, the extra song was called “Until We Have Faces,” and it was supposed to be a pre-order exclusive on iTunes. It was available for about 45 min- 1 hr after the release, but after that was taken down.

  14. Dacheat says:

    Wow, they took that extra song down… Oh well, I’ve still got it. :D

  15. EchelonX says:

    Ah man… that stinks.

  16. Mike says:

    I bought this album on amazon.com this morning. I noticed in the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section a album by Times of Grace called The Hymn Of A Broken Man. What can you all tell me about this? I listened to the previews and WOW! The lyrics seem very Christian. I know Adam D is involved. I’d like to hear what you all think.

  17. danielznelson says:

    I don’t understand why they said it was “by far” their heaviest album to date. I’m not big into RED, but I really didn’t see much of a difference. A dramatic one at least.

  18. Darkhyperchaos says:

    I enjoyed the album overall, but I though it sounded way too similar to Innocence And Instinct. In fact, it felt like a extension of it. The album sounded stale after a short while.

    I think RED has tons of potential, but I really wish their next album doesn’t play it so save.

  19. Aadil says:

    You rated The Letter Black’s and Fireflight’s album higher than this, wow…

  20. XWriting on the WallsX says:

    I thought Innocence And Instinct was pretty good, but very serious lyrics and music. Red has never been happy or light music. I’m assuming this album is essentially the same in that area.

  21. Sam says:

    Hahaha, for a band that everyone seems to have a more or less neutral attitude toward, there really are a lot of comments on this review.

    I personally never got into Red because I’m not really a fan of radio rock. However, I’m happy for these guys for doing so well and sending Christian messages into the mainstream (really is a need for that, even if you’re like me and not a fan of mainstream music). I hope they keep cranking music out.

    • Sam says:

      Good review Joshua, by the way.

    • Joshua Clark says:

      I agree with you Sam, I’m really glad to see these guys rising up in and being able to share their message in the mainstream. It’s great to see them spreading their message to others who otherwise may not hear it. I hope they can keep doing that for awhile. And thanks, glad you liked the review.

    • Austin says:

      I think you should rephrase that: “Everyone” is too specific. I for one LOVE Red and would have bought this album even if nobody liked it. I really don’t agree that this album is “just okay, but not great.” I don’t have a problem with the amount of soft songs on this record, and find Red in my top 3 favorite artists right now (alongside Demon Hunter and House of Heroes). I like other music that some of you on here would define as “better” than some of those, but that’s what I dig and can relate to.

      Sorry for ranting, I started out by wanting to refute your statement, but all it turned into was a monologue… haha

    • Sam says:

      Ok, since this is the second time in the past couple of weeks that somebody has kinda jumped on me for this:

      when I say “everyone,” I’m talking very generally and do not literally mean every single person that has read/commented on/come in the general vicinity of this review. You are free to like whatever you want to like Austin :)

    • Austin says:

      Thanks! Glad we can come to a happy closure rather than state the other person is an idiot because they disagree :O) I was just trying to make you aware that there are probably a lot more people who check this site than the ones who comment on posts. haha, Thanks for understanding!

  22. Amdy says:

    for those who want to hear some before buying go here:

    http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds/#/5

  23. Kelly says:

    Hi, The Guy That Rated This Dont Listen To Him. Every One Has There Own Opinion Mine Is, Buy The Album You Will Not Dissapointed. If You Are A True RED Fan, This Is A Great Album Over All, Heavier Than Their Previous Albums, RED Stated That Themselves. I Love Every Song, I Love The Album Lyrics About Finding You True Identity. I Think Red Did A Great Job And This Is There Best Album.

    God Bless
    Thanks
    Kelly

  24. Jared says:

    Everyone is entitled to your opinion. While I was kinda surprised by the rating, I appreciate not having a reviewer who is enamored with RED, and giving his honest opinion. I love the cd personally, but everyone is different. Thats the cool thing about God making us individuals! We’re all different. :)

  25. Music Fan says:

    Like it a lot. May be better than last. Wish they would try some different sounding stuff, more than they did, but they did some. I’d give it a 7 atleast, if not 8.

  26. NormireX says:

    I like Red ok. They just aren’t consistent with their sound on their albums. For instance the album in review starts off with a heavy track with heavy vocals, and then from what I’ve heard of the rest of the album thus far, none of the other tracks are comparable to the first track. This is what disappoints me about Red. I wish they would have a more even distribution of heavy tracks on their albums, but unfortunatley they just put a few on the album and the rest is typical and overdone melodic/ballad style rock/metal.

    In my opinion Red should have been the Christian equivelant of Disturbed, but as I said they don’t have enough heavy tracks to fill that void.

    If they come out with an album of just their heavy stuff then I would probably pick it up, but for now I’m going to have to skip buying anymore Red albums.

  27. Jason Fancher says:

    “Until We Have Faces” is really growing on me quickly. I think that it had it’s work cut out for it by the ultra-quality of their second album “Innocence & Instinct”. I’m my humble opinion, I don’t think Red will ever make a track as perfect as “Fight Inside”, the battle for the soul has rarely been put to music so exactly: “It’s Nothing, ITS EVERYTHING!” That is hard to compete with. Still, this new one is rotating in the CD player with regularity, so that is a good sign…

  28. Christchild says:

    outstanding album:)

  29. Lucas says:

    I have a theory…people seem to use the words “heavy” and “intense” like they mean the same thing.
    I’ve always thought of “intense” referring to the more emotional side of the music, while “heavy” is usually referred to the music itself regardless of emotion. Does that make sense?
    If so I think musically Until We Have Faces is their heaviest, but not as intense as Innocence and Instinct. For instance, I thought the screams used in “Feed the Machine”, though more frequent, were more for effect than emotion. The screams in “Fight Inside” had a much more emotional feel to them the way it just kind of built with the music.
    Furthermore, I thought even the non-screaming songs in UWHF had slightly heavier riffs than I&I. I&I was just darker.
    Of course everyone looks at things differently…

  30. Lucas says:

    Anyway, I really enjoyed this album. It’s not much different from Innocence and Instinct, but I think they can afford to be safe for one more album. Hopefully they’ll experiment more next time though, because they’ve opened themselves up for all kinds of experimentation, and I still believe they can make a phenomenal record.

  31. Brandon says:

    I just picked this up at Target last night (thank you Wife:) and I must say that it absolutely RULES! I know there are other bands playing this style of music but Red pulls it off with class and charm. I love that they are reaching out to the lost through their popularity and the music is definitely soothing. So what if there are a few more ballads, it just makes this album all the more special. I am a sucker for radio music sometimes and this albums hits the right spot (with me).

  32. David Green says:

    I initially agreed with this review, but as I’ve listened to the album more and more, it’s really grown on me a lot. Not to say I disagree with this review now; I still think that Red could have put out a better album with more originality and intensity (as in emotion) in the songs, as well as more variety, but I’ve grown to thoroughly enjoy the project from start to finish, aside from “Let It Burn,” which to me is kind of a failure of a song. But I guess I just want to say that this is a really solid project. Not as good as Red could be, but still a strong follow up to Innocence and Instinct. I’d probably give this one a 7.5/10.

  33. Matt says:

    First off everyone who is saying they dont like “radio music”- what do you like exactly? Do you have to be that one person who is different from everyone else to stand out just so everyone looks at you? Music is music- it is defined as an expression of self- of soul. I dont see what it matters if it came from your local radio station or some underground club. And seriously, how would bands reach as many people as they do without radio play? I hope this album gets played on every radio station.

    Second, and more importantly- very good review. I have been a big fan of RED since EoS, seen them in concert twice, and honestly UWHF blew me away. People say it is similar to I&I, and they would be right, but that is because RED had stated when I&I was released that they would be recording a follow up album to it. I&I was the dark side of their music and this is the lighter- more hopeful side. I cannot wait to see what they come out with next, there arent many bands that have a solid release every album from their debut. Even Linkin Park bombed (imo) after Meteora. Another good release to watch out for (early March) is TRUSTcompany’s new cd: Dreaming in Black and White.

  34. Alex says:

    While it’s not their heaviest album, I feel a huge amount of intensity in these songs even they aren’t as heavy. With all the hype though, I was expecting a little heavier stuff

  35. Andrew says:

    While I kind of agreed with the reviewer when the album first came out, it’s really grown on me. As a long time fan, my only objection to Red is kind of their “overproduction”. Not that it isn’t quality mixing and all, there are some cool nuances to the music that would be missing without it. But sometimes there’s something inauthentic about the music. First the breakdowns, it’s not that I don’t like them, but they end quickly and leave almost no lasting impression on the vocals and music. I think it would be neat if they kind of mirrored the music change like in Switchfoot’s song “Meant To Live”, while Switchfoot doesn’t really have any sceamy breakdowns, the guitarwork is different after the acoustic bridge. Also if they took kind of a metalcore approach to the breakdowns, first have them lenghtier and not overlap with the chorus, check out As I Lay Dying’s “Forsaken” as another good example of a lasting breakdown.
    And finally, the lyrics. Don’t get me wrong, the lyrics are great, but they lack some authenticity. I think it stems from Michael (the lead singer) not writing the songs. I think he does his best to get into the music, but the placement of the different parts of the songs don’t seamlessly blend into each other and compliment the other, they feel mechanical, I think that stems from the “overproduction”.

  36. Dwayne Coleman says:

    I love the band Red!!! I even mentioned them in my comment with falling up!!! I really disagreee with many things about this review, but I usually do not like real heavy metal and screaming- I love music and melodies!!! I thought this album was great because of “Not Alone” and it was not too mellow, but had a great message and melody and it sticks with you in your head!!! Also the “Hymn for the Missing” is also a great song and yes nothing may not top Pieces for a ballad from this band, but these 2 songs were pretty close!!! Their last album was heavier and they did not have a real ballad yet I think they are getting better and they are one of the best bands out there period I would give their album a 9.2 at least!!! I was suprised at the rating of a 7 and Faling Up’s a 9 and I love Falling Up(so much that I helped fund their new album gladly), but it was a little too mellow and the song endings went too long!!!

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