Editors’ Notes On its fourth album, Red ups the melodic quotient in its music without sacrificing the hard rock aggression fans have come to expect. This time out, the grinding intensity and spiritual desperation that have characterized the Christian quartet’s work are tempered by a broader artistic vision. With the aid of producer Howard Benson (P.O.D., My Chemical Romance, Skillet), Red stretches out to embrace soaring balladry (“Hold Me Now,” “So Far Away”) and galvanizing shout-along pop (“Same Disease”). There’s a new crispness to Release the Panic’s rhythms, heard in the hard-pumping grooves of “Die for You” and the propulsive dynamics of “If We Only.” Frontman Michael Barnes leans toward the clean side of his singing prowess, though tracks like “Damage” and the title track find his larynx-mauling growl in fine shape as well. The struggle to know God amid the corruption of modern life remains Red’s lyrical focus—“Perfect Life” (a stinging rejection of materialist culture) and “The Moment We Come Alive” (a plea for salvation in a crumbling world) testify to the band’s undiminished faith and its road-seasoned sense of craft.

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