RED is back with a fantastic new EP titled The Evening Hate. It sounds new and fresh, but still has that signature RED sound, with strings woven throughout.
The title track kicks things off, subdued and mysterious at first, like a dark evening approaching. The anticipation builds, and a moment later, the guitars punch through the mist. The lyrics are dark, and the music is fitting, painting a haunting and pensive portrait. The lyrics evoke a sense of trepidation, of someone sitting alone, restlessly awaiting their demons that come out at night; perhaps the spirits of fear, depression, anxiety. It can be a nightly battle, when the noise of the day dissipates and the voice of doubt shouts a little louder. About halfway through the track, there’s an intense and heavy breakdown. In true RED form, at the end of the track, the heaviness of the music fades into somber strings carrying the melody as the lyrics are faintly restated.
After the anguish of The Evening Hate, From the Ashes offers a glimmer of hope, like the joy the rising sun brings after a long, hard night. The darkness tries to hold us down with its lies. It doesn’t speak the truth and tries to drown out the light, but the Light will always overcome. It will give us the strength to fight and rise from the ashes. Almost as a continuation from the previous song, From the Ashes starts with strings, soft, yet intense. This song rocks just as much as the first. There’s a breakdown part way through the song, Dan Johnson’s drumming and the bass of Randy Armstrong adding to the epic-ness.
If anyone can cover Fuel’s Hemorrhage, it’s RED. Michael Barnes’ voice lends itself perfectly to this song, gritty and tough, yet full of passion. It’s a very pared down version from the original, with simply acoustic guitar to accompany the vocals. Anthony Armstrong is a stellar guitar player, and those skills especially shine through on this track. It’s interesting to look at these lyrics through the lens of a Christian artist. Though not what the original artist intended, perhaps we could see these lyrics as an analogy for the Christian life; we’re often turning away from Jesus, but He cries out His love for us, and even went so far as to shed His blood for us.
RED wraps up the EP with acoustic versions of the first two songs, offering an intriguing new take on them. The Evening Hate begins with subtle and eerie strings, joined a moment later by piano. This stripped-down version provides a hauntingly beautiful accompaniment and allows the lyrics to have a bit more prominence. From the Ashes keeps with the strings and subtle piano, but adds acoustic guitar, all these elements weaving an ethereal tapestry.
RED is an incredibly talented band, and this EP definitely confirms that. The music is impressive and intricate, providing the listener something new with each time through. The lyrics are deep and touch on issues many of us are facing. Overall, a very worthy EP to add to your collection.