Review: Red Eleven – 'Collect Your Scars'

The brilliant releases keep rolling in at the start of 2016. Finnish band Red Eleven have served up a perfect slice of metal to rock your world and knock your socks off. They are classed as Alternative Rock… someone tell me what that is? The only alternative I can see is Bieber, Adele, or One Direction, and who wants to go down that dark and dangerous route?

To me they have Prog running down their spine, but just like your backbone, it is then wrapped up in layers of muscle, tendons and skin… in this band’s case, that is symphonic, hard rock, and placed right on top, with no shame or disgust, a heavy dose of Faith No More.

“I Follow” starts the proceedings, and you can hear that FNM sound from the off, but unlike said band, this is of a much more serious order. It does have a feel of “Epic” and “We Care A Lot”, but there is much more depth to it. With “Just A Game” we are in much more of a hurry. We have those Patton growls and acidic edges, mixed with brilliant harmonies, which leans towards the symphonic metal. These differing sounds are all overlapped seamlessly with a huge production sound.

“Different Kind” has a swagger all of its own. It is like a musical “come and have a go if you think you are hard enough”. The guitar and keyboards are lazy yet powerful. When it comes to the solos, it is a thing of beauty. “Last Grain Of Sand” starts with a melancholy piano, followed by Tony Raikkonen’s almost soulful vocals. The lyrical content must relate to the album cover and the hourglass as the sand drips down slowly… just like the song. this is a very forceful slab of work and it builds into a concoction of sound and emotion.

“Know Yourself” is far heavier and thoroughly based in the symphonic world, but it does break out into an almost radio friendly number. “Tainted Scene” starts very simply, just drums, vocals and keys, but you know that won’t last. As the story is being told, you are just awaiting the kicker, and when it comes it is a real head banger.

” All Emotions At The Same Time” fits perfectly under the album title. It is an angry, abrasive, and powerful look at your own pain. Happiness and ignorance in four and a half minutes. I wonder if  “And So I Took His Life” was a direct result from the previous song. As much as the title is inscribing murder and dismemberment in my head, the song does not portray that. A slow burner with a melodic overtone.

“The Mark” has more of the murder feel, with Megadeth-ish riffage at the start. you also get more of the FNM sound. This song has some real attitude. With an acoustic guitar start “Too Much Too Ask” is soothing and very settling. The vocals are almost grunge like, in fact, this is very Alice In Chains mixed with the best balladic efforts of Queensrÿche. A very quiet but powerful song, and after a good few plays, this comes out as one of my favourites. Simple is sometimes all that is needed.

“Yarn Of Life” finishes things off, and with the sound and length (over six minutes) this could almost be a Maiden song. It has that huge sound they get on any lengthy number and Pasi Pasadena’s drumming reminded me of Nicko a lot. It also has as many tempo changes, and for me this song, just like Maiden’s epics, are an instant hit. I could probably write a review on this song alone, as there is so much going on, but just take it from me this is stunning.

Red Eleven have been a very grateful discovery and “Collect Your Scars” is a brilliant album that is worthy of your hard earned cash upon its release in March

Review Ritchie Birnie

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