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The Red Chord: Prey for Eyes

The Red Chord: Prey for Eyes

Label:Metal Blade
Release Date:2007

By Raymond Cummings | Posted 10/10/2007

When the emission of two-minute, appendage-crushing blurts loses its appeal, the natural next step is to begin writing lengthier, less asphyxiating tunes. Upon hitting that particular concrete wall, Black Flag gleefully set about alienating its core fanbase by cutting hardcore punk with long-form jams. The Red Chord--a tireless, death-metal touring machine hailing from Revere, Mass.--isn't quite ready for that drastic a move, though its third disc, Prey for Eyes, is spent subtly lightening up while not stretching out.

The M.O. here is mostly ye olde brute status quo: singer Guy Kozowyk roaring low and gruff, as though he'd just polished off a sixth bleach-and-Drano cocktail, while the rest of the band tosses off dynamic, wombat-outta-Hades gristle-wads. It's a war zone strewn with oppressive throw downs with titles like "Send the Death Storm," but beneath its crusty, rusty surface lies relaxed, in-no-rush riffs from guitarists Mike Keller and Mike McKenzie. "Open Eyed Beast Attack" tempers its manic virtuosity with actual melodic highlights. For "It Came From Over There," guest musician Mirai Kawashima contributes Mastadon-esque prog-isms, concocting gooey, geeky swells of Moogs, pianos, and organs that repeatedly swallow the rest of the band whole before reluctantly relinquishing control again. Unlike 2005's harsh Clients, Prey For Eyes presents the Red Chord as--all of a sudden--not terribly frightening, despite Paul Romano's characteristically gruesome cover art. The tradeoff, though--in terms of long-term listenability--is definitely worthwhile.

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