RED REIGN – Don’t Look Back (Album Review)

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Red Reign, a band steeped in 80s rock influences, unleashes a high-energy musical journey with their latest album, “Don’t Look Back.” Bursting with infectious tunes and hard-hitting rock anthems adorned with killer guitar solos, this album is a testament to the band’s live prowess and is poised to resonate with audiences nationwide.

The album kicks off with a bang on “No Peace No Love,” setting the tone for the rest to come. The repetitive chanting of the titular phrase, as additional rock instruments get layered in, captivates the listener, almost hypnotizing them into a desire to explore the entirety of the album. The choice of an opening track is pivotal, and “No Peace No Love” masterfully sets the stage for the rest of the musical journey.

Two standout elements define this album: the exceptional musicianship and the top-notch production. The clarity of each shredding guitar solo, exemplified in tracks like “Yesterday” and “Don’t Look Back,” – the latter supercharged by the solo pyrotechnics of ex-Dokken‘s legend George Lynch – showcases the band’s instrumental prowess. Additionally, the production skillfully balances individual instrument voices while maintaining a cohesive band sound. Notably, tracks like “Here I Am,” “Open Spaces,” and “No Peace No Love” feature exquisite and ethereal backup vocals, adding a layer of complexity that enhances the overall listening experience.

The album takes a stylistic detour with “Darkness of Pain,” opening with an acoustic guitar and evoking a 70s-inspired, lower-energy vibe. Bubba shines in this segment, effortlessly hitting clean and ethereal notes. “Darkness of Pain” and “Open Spaces” is where Bubba shines the most. Sadly, on other tracks, there are moments where his vocals seem to get lost, giving the impression of lacking the desired strength and vocal range often seen with some of other great rock singers. Maybe a mixing flaw?

“Don’t Look Back” Artwork

“Don’t Look Back” achieves a commendable equilibrium between Shred‘s electrifying guitar solos, Lee‘s dynamic drumming, and Moore‘s pulsating bass, with occasional embellishments from additional instruments. The album’s energy is infectious, offering a thrilling rock experience that invites listeners to envision themselves in a live setting, swaying to the music and witnessing Stevie shred on an electric guitar.

Red Reign has crafted an enjoyable rock album that may not redefine your musical landscape but undoubtedly complements it. From the exhilarating energy of “Follow Your Heart” to the more classic rock vibes of “Open Spaces,” the album caters to a broad spectrum of rock enthusiasts. Released last October 27th, this album is worth exploring, and the band, with their vivacious energy, is definitely worth experiencing live. If the album packs this much energy, witnessing it live might just transport you to another plane of existence.

Released By: Dekko Entertaintment
Release Date: October 27th, 2023
Genre: Hard Rock / Melodic Metal

Musicians:

  • Carlton “Bubba” McMichael / Vocals, guitars
  • Stevie Shred / Guitars
  • Larry Moore / Bass
  • Sammy Lee / Drums

“Don’t Look Back” Track-Listing:

  1. No Peace No Love
  2. Don’t Look Back
  3. Here I Am
  4. Follow Your Heart
  5. The Truth
  6. Bury Me Up To My Eyes
  7. Darkness Of Pain
  8. Yesterday
  9. Changes
  10. Open Spaces

Order “Don’t Look Back” HERE.

8.0 Great

"Don't Look Back" by Red Reign doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it is a fun and unapologetic rock album that excels in delivering an enjoyable musical experience

  • Songwriting 8
  • Musicianship 8
  • Originality 7
  • Production 9
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