"Prey for Eyes"

(Metal Blade)

01. Film Critiques And Militia Men
02. Dread Prevailed
03. It Runs In The Family
04. Send The Death Storm
05. Pray For Eyes
06. Responsibilities
07. Midas Touch
08. Tread On The Neck Of Kings
09. It Came From Over There
10. Intelligence Has Been Compromised
11. Open Eyed Beast Attack
12. Birdbath
13. Bone Needle
14. Seminar

RATING: 8/10

"Prey for Eyes" is the sound of THE RED CHORD finding its groove, one might even say its comfort zone, that is, if that description did not have negative connotations for some. More than a few fans were not ecstatic about the band's move to more of a death-grind based controlled chaos on "Clients", but far more found the album to be an engrossing effort that substantially raised THE RED CHORD's worldwide profile. While "Prey for Eyes" is not a mirror image of "Clients", fans of the latter will surely find comfort in the brutalizing ways of the new effort.

Musically, the flow from track to track is not quite as schizophrenic as that of "Clients", meaning only that the group's compositional twists and turns continue to knock listeners off balance, yet stylistically seem to be held together more cohesively across the disc. Of note are the solos on many of the tunes which seem to stand out more than on the pervious release; though unconventional, there is a kind of tunefulness to them that is rather pleasing to the ear.

Overall, the blending of blasting, death metal pummel, and groove is very well done and tends to really grab hold after about the third spin of the disc. A trip through the treacherous terrain reveals said mix. "Film Critiques and Militia Men" is a death grinder; "Dread Prevailed" integrates more groove mixed with the angularity and death metal heaviness; and "It Runs in the Family" is a sort of steady beating with brief, yet somehow enthralling, pinch harmonics. "Send the Death Storm" is a monster with slivers of melody in the guitar parts, lots of chunkiness, and a commanding bark from Guy Kozowyk, whose lyrical dementia continues to be a selling point for the band. Insanity reigns on "Responsibles", which features some absolutely nutty guitar runs and "Tread on the Necks of Kings" goes for the chug-slam, shape-shifting along the way and dragged to the bottom with thick and rubbery bass lines from Greg Weeks. In fact, Greg's playing on the album as a whole is active and interesting. An instrumental track called "It Came From Over There" ends up being a highlight, in large part due to the '70s prog moog, piano, and organ played by Mirai Kawashima. For those enamored with such things, JOB FOR A COWBOY vocalist Jonny Davy contributes vocals to "Pray for Eyes" and "Prevailed", while CONVERGE's Nate Newton appears on "Tread on the Necks of Kings" and "Responsibles".

Simply put, "Pray for Eyes" is another cool album that is a logical progression from "Clients" in that the sound established on the previous released is retained, rather than being driven into the ground. THE RED CHORD continues to sound fresh and exciting in a world in which the style played is not exactly unique and often overdone. I dig it.


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