Innocence & Instinct (Bonus Track Version)
Taking inspiration from Dante’s Inferno, Red rips into themes of spiritual conflict on its sophomore album Innocence & Instinct. The volcanic rage and desperate hunger found on the band’s debut effort End of Silence are amplified to even higher levels in these seething, soul-bareing tracks. Red revels in buzzsaw guitar riffs and pummeling drums, then tops things off with swirls of melodramatic strings. What sets them apart are its self-lacerating lyrics, delivered in snarls, yowls and whispers by singer Michael Barnes. The album presents a sustained vision of psychic purgatory, with the balance constantly shifting between salvation and damnation. “Fight Inside,” “Death of Me,” and “Shadows” nearly give the edge to the Evil One, while “Mystery of You” and “Start Again” offer glimmers of God’s presence. “Never Be the Same” is the most radio-friendly track, a stirring affirmation of divine love. In an unusual move for a Christian band, Red ends the album on an ambiguous note with the moody, subdued “Take It All Away,” and an intriguing cover of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World” compliments the group’s originals.