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Raise The Red Lantern: Raise The Red Lantern

I've listened to Raise The Red Lantern over and over now for almost two weeks and I have to say that I'm still not sure if they are Extreme Metal, Punk, Stoner, or Progressive. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that who cares what it is, this is pretty damn good!

Huge riffs lumber through this entire album, however they do so with an eye on a sharp, corrosive melody and designs on never letting the listener get too comfortable. Instead RTRL are more interested in stretching the boundaries of what they do, both in terms of attitude and impact. Most bands making music this uncompromising do so in such a way that involves straight ahead pummelling brutality, and to be fair to them, if a pain inducing pounding is what you crave then Raise The Red Lantern will happily oblige, however they will do it in such a way as to prolong the experience and leave you wondering if you have been caressed or crushed.

With five of the eight tracks included ranging from five and a half minutes to just over seven minutes, room is given to explore a hefty collection of themes and ideas, however it's executed in such a way as to make the terrifying journey an enthralling and compelling one. Yes sometimes the barrage can become a little self indulgent and the three minute long bass solo "Deliver Us/Deliverance", which is a little too close to Cliff Burton's classic "Orion" for it's own good, is little more than an introduction to the twisted turnings of the excellent "No Man's Land". However on the whole the focus of the album is remarkably sharp.

Whether it's the creeping, building "Thick As Thieves", with it's driving insistent beat and anguished vocals, or the swirling guitar lines and thumping bass of "Wild Stallion", one thing that is guaranteed is that Raise The Red Lantern continually demand your attention and do so with dynamic, hard hitting songs that are uncompromising, yet memorable.

Trawling through the band's myspace site, press release and digi book I can only discern that the various band members are called Dylan, Craig, Kris and Jim and at that I'm not even sure who plays what, however it has to be said that with a slight tweak here and there in some of the more ranging passages, the foursome could be onto something pretty special.

A mention is also needed for Rick Leech who's artwork on this At A Loss Recordings release raises the look of the CD above many of those that are churned out these days. The illustrations are beautifully put together and add hugely to the package, which is a rare thing in this day of CD and downloads.

Track Listing
1. Ritual
2. Thick As Thieves
3. Awaken
4. Oracle
5. Deliver Us / Deliverance
6. No Man's Land
7. Wild Stallion
8. Seduction Of Slumber

Added: December 8th 2009
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 1744
Language: english

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