Until We Have Faces is RED’s third album preceded by End Of Silence and Innocence & Instinct. This last album takes its main inspiration from CS Lewis’ book with similar title Till We Have Faces. This theme I have loved RED from their very first album, mainly because of the way they drive orchestra into hard rock. That totally captivated me.
I must say there was a lot of hard work put into this album. I don’t think there has been any other band whose activities I followed this much and I must say I am impressed with the work they put into this project. Awesome work! And I can say it paid off in the end. For the first time ever, I actually saw the music scores for a rock band.
I am still trying to get used to the tunes but I must confess I prefer Innocence and Instinct to this. Like I mentioned, the kick I get from listening to RED is the way they integrate violins, violas into guitar work. Their other albums in my opinion did more harmonious things with strings. For some reason, I didn’t ‘feel’ the mixing of some songs. I think some songs were ‘overmixed’.
The song starts with Feed The Machine and ends with Hymn for the Missing, a perfect selection of order. Feed The Machine starts the album with life kicked in by the powerful sound of Anthony Armstrong’s guitars. I loved the orchestra work on the opening of this song. You can view that on this video:
The next track, Faceless, which takes the theme of the whole album happens to be my favorite.
Michael Barnes sings “We are the faceless, we are the nameless, we are the hopeless until we have faces”. The concept of this album is derived from C.S. Lewis’ similarly-titled book, Till We Have Faces. Like Jonathan Anderson rightly said, “It challenges us to find our true identity, and to realize that life is empty if we don’t”.
All those who have listened to the album so far have commented on how hot Lie To Me(Denial) is. You can hear the influences of Breaking Benjamin’s former guitarist on this and quite a number of songs in this 11 track CD.
Let It Burn is another song with strong emotions: “How long can you stand the pain || How long will you hide your face || How long will you be afraid || How long will you play this game || How long will you fight or will you walk away ||How long will you let it burn”.
The beginning guitar riff of Watch You Crawl is awesome; a good collaboration of the bass guitarist and the Joe Rickard, the drummer and the vocals hammering the words ‘I will fight until the end‘.
Just before the end, the track Best Is Yet To Come prepares ground for the last track Hymn For The Missing, a purely emotional track like Pieces from their first album, End of Silence. The violins roll in on this track. A few female back up vocals are also present making this a really soft track.
Michael Barnes’ voice comes really strong in this album carrying the deep meanings in his voice. I will rate this album a 3.5 of 5.