The Red Chord - _Prey for Eyes_
(Metal Blade Records, 2007)
by: Jackie Smit (9 out of 10)
Fair dues to them: if The Red Chord's name was passed around in certain musical circles more often than bad grass at Woodstock, it certainly wasn't without justification. Their sophomore effort, 2005's conceptual _Clients_, rained down a shitstorm on an already promising debut, and the four hundred plus live shows that followed only sought to hammer the point home to gobsmacking effect.

Not that all the hubbub has made them lazy in any way, mind you. In an age where the number of friends your band has on MySpace can mean almost as much as the actual quality of what you produce in the studio, it warms the cockles to find the Massachusetts quintet in a particularly vindictive mood on the opening track to their third full-length.

Awash with all the hallmarks of their increasingly personalized brand of heaviness, "Film Critiques and Militia Men" weaves a bloodied tapestry of grindcore, death metal and hardcore into a raft of spastic time changes and polyrhythms. Guy Kozowyk snarls his way through "Dread Prevails" like a prehistoric cave bear, with Mick McKenzie and Kevin Rampelberg's guitars shifting gears effortlessly between all-out buzzsaw insanity and grooves that are about as subtle as dropping anvils off the top of skyscrapers.

Indeed, The Red Chord's tendency to focus on their strengths is prevalent throughout the record's fourteen tracks; and with an arsenal like theirs, they'd be fools not to. But what really clinches _Prey for Eyes_ are the calculated risks found on tracks like "Birdbath" and particularly "It Came From Over There" -- where Mirai Kawashima, on loan from Japanese mentalists Sigh, drives a synth line through the clamor with all the subtle charm of a bulldozer. Sheer class.


(article published 27/7/2007)

1/4/2010 J Smit 9 The Red Chord - Fed Through the Teeth Machine
5/31/2005 J Smit 9.5 The Red Chord - Clients
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