Post On the 8th June 2015 - BY Phoenix Rising 

Band: Left For Red
Album: All Things Known And Buried
Release Date: 27 April, 2015
Label: A.R.C Records




Review by John Since forming in 2010, Midlands Metal Monkeys Left For Red have been forging their reputation on the back of their energetic live shows and, having previously released two EPs, they have now taken the next step, and released their full length debut. And a hugely polished and mature piece of work it is too. Things open eerily, with the introductory piece ‘Master’s Call’. The sound of an elevator descending, backed by an unsettling effects, which segues into an echoing chant of “Left For Red”. And then in kicks ‘Master Of The Game’. A thunderous opening leads into a heavy but tuneful slice of groove metal, which gets its hooks deep into you and refuses to let go. Utterly memorable, and already a live favourite, this is a tune you’ll be humming for months to come. After the uplifting opening, ‘Crooked Path’ is a slightly more sombre number, but again just so very catchy. Heavy riffs and pounding bass combine to create a fine slab of modern metal, and they even find room for some cowbell. ‘Reborn’ is up next, showcasing a slightly slower groove, but losing none of the power of the previous tracks, building gradually to a furious crescendo, with vocalist LC Decoy spitting venom towards the end. ‘Echoes Of Strangers’ opens with a pounding riff, ably backed up by some fine work from drummer Rob Hadley, and is another stand out. With varying vocal styles and changes of pace throughout, it sounds almost like it could have been an outtake from a Faith No More album (think ‘Angel Dust’ era and you’re not too far off), and it builds on the dark tone that underpins the album. Another track that has been part of the live set for a while now is ‘Shatter’ and this brings us firmly back to groove metal territory. Of all the tracks on the album, this is probably closest to the material found on previous EP ‘Mercy Flight’, and you do find yourself involuntarily moving along to it, even from the comfort of your own sofa! ‘Ascension’ is up next, and, while perhaps the weakest song on offer here, it’s still a decent enough track, and contains some of the best guitar work on the album. But it is somewhat overshadowed by what comes next. Because it’s at this point that Left For Red throw a curveball, in the form of ‘Dystopia Rising’, a hauntingly beautiful piano piece, evocative of Carter Burwell’s work on the ‘In Bruges’ soundtrack. It’s deeply moving stuff, and you’re certainly not expecting it, but somehow it fits in perfectly. Almost like a 2 minute time out, it gives you a chance to draw your breath, before the album moves towards it’s conclusion. You realise that ‘Dystopia Rising’ was the calm before the inevitable storm as ‘Utopia’ powers in with a vengeance. Loud, angry and in your face from the start, this is possibly the album’s high point, demonstrating perfectly the underlying theme of darkness that runs through the whole album. The album ends in reflective mood with ‘Solace In Memories’, which brings to mind mid era Staind, slowing the pace down considerably, but retaining the overall feel of what has gone before it, before fading out on another short piano piece. With ‘All Things Known And Buried’, Left For Red have crafted a remarkable album, which, despite the dark themes throughout, somehow manages to be bouncy and uplifting at the same time. It’s a difficult thing to get right, but with the quality of tunes on here, they get it absolutely spot on. At a little over half an hour long, it never outstays it’s welcome and is definitely an album you’ll find yourself returning to time and again. The Midlands has given us some truly great metal bands over the years, and, on this evidence, Left For Red most certainly have the potential to join that list at some point in the future. flame9