The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Until We Have Faces RED

By Frankie Farrar-Helm/entertainment editor

Two-time Grammy-nominated hard rock Christian band RED packs a powerful blow into its third album Until We Have Faces, a record that reflects the band’s growth and intensity.

Released Feb. 1, this exceptional rock album is a package of heavy rock guitar sounds, explosive drumming, a poignant vocal punch and elegant strings that incorporate similar sounds to bands such as Chevelle, Three Days Grace, Flyleaf and Linkin Park.

The Nashville-based four-man unit, formed in 2004, consists of vocalist Michael Barnes, guitarist Anthony Armstrong, bassist Randy Armstrong (his twin brother) and drummer Joe Rickard, who joined the band in 2008.

RED’s debut album End of Silence, released in 2006, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album and won the Rock Recorded Song of the Year award at the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards in 2007.

The band’s second album Innocence and Instinct, released in 2009, won Rock Album of the Year at the 2010 Dove Awards.

This year, RED’s success has brought its first television performance on Conan O’Brien and another on Jay Leno.

Paired again with award-winning producer Rob Graves, Until We Have Faces features RED in its most musically intense place to date.

The overall theme of the record is inspired by author C.S. Lewis’ book about a search for true identity, Till We Have Faces.

The second track on the album, “Faceless,” describes to listeners RED’s hollowness of life until recently discovering its true identity.

The song lyrics, “A part of me is dead, need you to live again … Can you replace this? I’m hollow, hollow and faceless,” allow listeners to better understand the meaning of the album.

In the infectious, melodious ballad “Not Alone,” RED says a positive energy can be found “even in a world so cold.” “Hymn for the Missing,” which features young gospel singer Kerrie Roberts, accentuates Barnes’ tender vocals as the two create a stunning harmony at the end of the song.

The Armstrong brothers’ electrifying guitar hook, complemented with Barnes’ mighty scream, kicks off the opening track “Feed the Machine.” The captivating chorus, We fall in line, we live the lie … Give up, give up and feed the machine,” elicits an emotional response.

The song ends with a soft choral and orchestral arrangement that captures the listener’s attention as it did with its abrasive tone in the beginning.

RED’s style is heavy enough to bring in fans of more aggressive music but friendly and captivating enough to attract contemporary rock fans.

Until We Have Faces is full of fist-pumping beats, compelling lyrics and symphonic elements that quench the thirst of rock music fans for something new and refreshing.

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