AlbumsNovember 29, 201111,818 views

Raise the Red Lantern Raise the Red Lantern


01. Ritual 02. Thick as Thieves 03. Awaken 04. Oracle 05. Deliver Us/Deliverance 06. No Man's Land 07. Wild Stallion 08. Seduction of Slumber
2009 At A Loss Recordings
Our score 7

by Nick
1/8/2010

Raise the Red Lantern definitely fits the part of one of the metal world's best kept secrets. Their 2005 debut record, Breathe Fire, helped set the early standard for exceptional metal releases from Seventh Rule Recordings by mixing highly catchy songwriting with thick sludge tones, yet it still flew under the radar of many listeners. But the range of influence of the dudes in RTRL is more widespread than you might think, thanks to the fact that three of the four members are responsible for the building of the Emperor cabs that (seemingly) everyone from Trap Them and Pelican to Young Widows and Minsk have added to their sonic arsenal these days. So go ahead and place these guys in the small group of musician-engineers (ex-Harkonen's/Helms Alee's Ben Verellen is another great example) that are responsible for a specific sound on more than just the songwriting level. I love and respect that more than I could possibly explain in a mere sentence or two. As for their second, self-titled full-length, sludge listeners can expect more of the same great elements that made Breathe Fire such a kick ass record. Burly low-end riffs are driven with powerful but not showy drumming. The melodic guitar leads are as warm as can be (check out the phenomenal second half dirge of "Ritual" where the guitarists engage in a hypnotic tapping battle over an evolving bass groove). And the vocals are a perfect fit, as they range from coarse, layered screams to a throaty melodic yell a la Kylesa (see "Awaken"). Some High on Fire comparisons are definitely called for, but at the end of the day, it's closest to what Baroness would sound like if they stuck to their grittier origins on First and Second. Think of RTRL as their unattractive peer whom everyone forgot about (or failed to even learn about in the first place). There isn't much to complain about here. If you dig riffs, towering guitar and bass stacks with exceptional tube distortion, and a no frills aesthetic, this record is for you. If you stack it up against Breathe Fire, there are a few shortcomings (the drawn out bass solo track, "Deliver Us/Deliverance" that could have benefited from an added dimension is the best example), but this is still an album that will have a 100% success rate with its intended audience. If you find yourself staring at the Emperor cabs of all of your favorite bands, yet you haven't picked up a RTRL record, you should realize that you are the intended audience. Do yourself a favor and grab this. On a concluding note, kudos to At a Loss Recordings for continuing to release some top notch records that are as heavy as they are intelligent. I can't remember the last time I thought a press release was well-written or helpful, but the final bullet point on the sheet for this release says it all: "Our label constantly puts out releases by bands you dig! You just wait till they go to another label -- Black Cobra, 16, Baroness, Minsk, Rwake, Kylesa, etc -- maybe get on board early!" Well put, At a Loss. Well put. Bottom Line: If you like sludge metal with melodic guitar licks (i.e. the product of bands like Baroness, High on Fire, and Kylesa), Raise the Red Lantern's self-titled record is for you. Cheers to these dudes not just for writing another collection of stellar distortion-soaked tunes, but for arming a significant chunk of the music scene with the sonic weapons to do even more damage. I support everything about this band.

16 comments

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mikecole_ 1/8/2010 9:18:51 PM

ermmmmmm


anonymous 1/8/2010 9:43:28 PM

enough with sludge drone doom slow fat music


satans_genitalia_ 1/8/2010 11:25:49 PM

This band is decent, you guys should review the new Dark Castle too, killer shit from the same label. New band alert: there's a band out here where i'm from called Occultist myspace.com/occultistrva they're kind of HHIGish w/ more thrashy/ sludgy parts, not too bad...check it... latas...


Godfather_ 1/9/2010 1:58:06 AM

satans_genetalia, I really wanna check out that gay band . Then I want 3 of your fingers in my jerk while I vomit on your c-ck. Also, this was a good review. I say 6/10


anonymous 1/9/2010 3:54:29 AM

movie > band


onemeansquid_ 1/9/2010 11:14:44 AM

i lobe Breathe Fire, but i haven't been able to get into this one. kinda disappointed


badaxe_ 1/9/2010 12:55:37 PM

"I support everything about this band." Yet you gave it a 7/10. A respectable rating, however, I figured, judging by the praise you gave, you'd give it at least a 9/10.


blackpower_ 1/9/2010 1:41:36 PM

C'mon, be real: if these dudes didn't make gear for other more respected bands, no one would give a shit about their boring band. I've seen these dudes tons of times, been to their house even...nothing to write home about, especially since Sweet Cobra makes all Chicago sludge bands obsolete.


Satans_genitalia_ 1/9/2010 6:18:39 PM

C'mon now Godfather, I figured that a (lamb)goatse loving rimshotber like yourself could at least spell "genitalia" correctly. You gave this a 6/10 but I'm sure you'd give the sound of some tranny's knuckles scratching your rectum a 10/10. Eat mung f*cktard.


pork_destroyer_ 1/9/2010 9:54:43 PM

this bands alright,but wouldn't buy acd though.5.5/10.


frontsidegrind_ 1/9/2010 11:36:34 PM

Blackpower's got a fine point there: Sweet Cobra is the shit. RIP Arluck.


Godfather_ 1/11/2010 12:18:22 PM

It's not me, random internet person, look at the grammar it's using, just a gimmick I am afraid, I wouldn't actually mind checking out your band.


satans_genitalia_ 1/11/2010 1:42:51 PM

My apologies to (the real) Godfather. BTW it's a band that I go see here in RVA that are cool dudes/good live, not my band. I haven't played out in quite awhile, would like to again at some point though...


mustacheGUY_ 2/4/2010 3:26:55 PM

man this record is AMAZING! score:7/10


birrignig_ 2/6/2010 6:29:52 PM

Good talk guys, make love to ur face


Al B_ 2/11/2010 12:15:48 PM

Chicago love