Raise the Red Lantern - Breathe FIre (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Raise the Red Lantern

Breathe FIre (2005)

Seventh Rule

Those of you familiar with the standard blend of metal and hardcore that Seventh Rule has been putting out for a few years now will not be disappointed by their latest release by Raise the Red Lantern. This shit's hotter than the stream of piss running down my pants leg right now because I cinched the piss cannon too early in the bathroom. And I mean that in the best way possible.

Smashing their way through ten tracks on their debut album, Raise the Red Lantern defy any standard notions of genre that could be slapped on them as a label. "Breathe Fire" and "Ol Ironside" open the album with mid-tempo riffs and tinges of melodic guitar work, layered on top of smashing drums and sick bass riffs and gritty as hell shouting/screaming/yelling vocals. "Daggers and Men's Smiles" opens with up-tempo drums pounding out a fast double-time with ripping melodic guitar lines behind it.

As the album progresses, their D-beat influence comes out stronger, especially in "Brethren We Built This." The first chorus of the song rings more like Coliseum than anything before it drops into an arpeggioed 3/4 with all three stringed instruments moving in perfect harmony.

Let's take a breather here to talk about how fucking awesome the cover art is.

What strikes me most about this album is how complex the melodies are, even though they take a backburner to the metal and hardcore. This band isn't really a group of musicians so much as four guys who took over an abandoned junkie house on the south side of Chicago and turned it into sort of a skater commune with indoor makeshift ramps. Then they started a band. And that band rips. There is also a shitton of maturity to this recording that seems to be hugely apparent given the fact that this is the band's debut full-length.

As the album progresses, the melodic aspect disperses. Each song seems to be more structured around basic mid-tempo, four-chord hardcore. "Swallow This Swell" is a good example of this as the song keeps up its D-beat tempo for the full three-and-a-half minutes without any half-time melodic breakdown for the first time on the album.

Ultimately, the songs build with "Snake Charmer" and "Shark Attack" to cap it all off with "We Put the Fuck Back in Memphis," which opens with a half-time melodic breakdown and transfers between the double-time and half-time as a representation of everything this band is capable of. If there is one song that sums up the album as a whole, I would say it was this one.

While at times snippets of songs garner comparisons to Coliseum and Converge, the end product to me seems to be what Planes Mistaken for Stars would sound like if they were actually good. For all you Planes Mistaken for Stars fans out there, Raise the Red Lantern is what you should be listening to. For all those who hate Planes Mistaken for Stars, don't worry, you'll probably like this album just as much.

In fact, anyone who likes metal, hardcore, or post-hardcore will probably love this release.