The Red Chord - Prey for Eyes (Cover Artwork)

The Red Chord

Prey for Eyes (2007)

Metal Blade

The Red Chord's third album, Prey for Eyes (and followup to 2005's exceptional Clients) starts out with "Film Critiques and Militia Men," a track which sums up the best parts of the Red Chord: They play a fast, highly technical combination of metal and hardcore, and do it without extravagance, unnecessary genre shifts or having every song be five minutes or more. The album's first single, "Dread Prevailed" comes up second, displaying the band's intelligent way of incorporating breakdowns within a song (when it finally releases at the end, it feels good, and familiar, as the band already incorporated said "breakdown" into the song earlier, just not as an all out...breakdown).

Guy Kozowyk's decision on Clients to take on a death metal throat delivery is seen again on Prey for Eyes, and he is relentless throughout the album. If you don't enjoy vocals in this vein, the album may prove to be a daunting listen. Guy does change it up a little, incorporating a spoken section here and there. This was done on Clients as well, but comes off more natural on Prey for Eyes. The Red Chord does give the listener a reprieve every now and then, seen in the last couple of minutes of (the cleverly titled) "Pray for Eyes," the completely instrumental "It Came from Over There" and the closing track, "Seminar." All of these tracks have extended instrumental sections which let Mike McKenzie and new guitarist Mike Keller bring their solos to the foreground. Even in these sections of seeming musical excess, the band executes it tastefully. The end of the album also starts to let up on the listener by bringing in "funkier" rhythms; the band grooves more than it has in the past.

Granted, it is not completely perfect; there seems to be something missing. While a very enjoyable listen with sharp musicianship backed by (the most important thing) good songwriting, the album lacks a bit of the attitude found on the Red Chord's previous releases. Simply put, Prey For Eyes just is not as ‘in your face' as Clients or Fused Together In Revolving Doors.

The Red Chord are an act I would recommend to anyone interested in bands playing a hybrid of metal and hardcore (without delving into what ‘metalcore' has now become). Clients is an album that was a bit more how fast can I play, how sick is that breakdown; Prey for Eyes is more a balanced set of fully realized, well-written metal/hardcore songs, an album any band would be proud of.