When I finally had the guts to get into this music business, conducting interviews and reviewing albums of bands I had not heard of as well as some of my idols, I found that each and every single band could not be happier when I had corresponded with them. I thought this industry was packed full of egos and bands would not have any time for someone from a little town called Hamilton getting in touch with them.
What I have also found is that the music industry and the metal family is exactly that, one big family. This was again the case when none other than Daniel Carter of well-known PR and booking company FatAngel got in touch with me asking to review his band that he plays bass for, Left For Red. I said to him that I am an avid death metal fan and if I didn’t like it, I will pass it on to the team to review. Well since I am writing this review, you can guess that I liked Left For Red’s second album, Human Complex, and this is why.
Being self-released, there is always a worry that the sound would not be the best for the recording. That is soon dispelled after listening to the opening track “Dancing with Misery” with its crystal clear production allowing each instrument to be heard. What is strange about this album is the choice of this opener as it’s almost a ballad with a melancholic riff and emotional vocals courtesy of LC Decoy. They remind me very much of Chino Moreno of Deftones and even Paul Dianno-era Iron Maiden and the vocalist certainly has a voice that is ear-catching and pleasing.
Left For Red like to catch you by surprise and they certainly do that on the next track “Switchblade Romance” with its hard and heavy infused groove from guitarists Aaron and Phil, and what could be considered thrash drumming from able sticksman Rob. If there was one track that I would use to introduce anyone to Left For Red, it would certainly be this one as it’s the perfect mix of melody and power.
Again Left For Red mix things up a bit with stoner riffs on “Slaves to Causality” and the more powerful and more Black Label Society opening riffs on “Leech”. Another personal highlight for me was the very powerful and deep chugging riffs on “Hand of God” and once again, the trademark of the band is to mix power with melody. The guitars were certainly the most powerful throughout this track than any other. Just when you think Left For Red were going to plough our senses, they put another emotional and heart driven ballad, showcasing the vocal talent of LC once again. Bassist Daniel can also be heard keeping the rhythm in check with his fluent bass playing allowing his band-mates to express themselves freely. Not quite Skid Row’s “I Remember You” but not a kick in the arse off it.
Of the closing two tracks “Tame the Tides” is similar in style to earlier track “Switchblade Romance”, especially with the vocal style from LC in parts, however, there are differences which make it very enjoyable. There is a harsh vocal style interspersed in the chorus and the riffs have more power than groove. This is another personal highlight of the album for me and shows professional songwriting from a band that have been together for ten years. Final song “Sunrise Brings Serenity” ends the album as it began, with a ballad. With lyrics as deep as mental health, self-reflection and peoples emotions, sometimes ballads are the only way to get the message across with sincerity and Left for Red do it in abundance making this a fitting way to end the album.
Left for Red were certainly new to me when Daniel passed this to me but they will certainly get old with me. This album is self-released by the band, so I advise that you look them up, give them a listen and help spread the word of these five reprobates who can play a tune.
The Human Complex is out April 6th