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Album Reviews : The Red Shore – The Avarice of Man

By on October 16, 2010

With no offense intended to any drummers, guitarists, bass players or keyboardists out there, when the lead singer splits from the rest of the band it’s usually a pretty big deal – more or less career changing. Melbourne’s The Red Shore have had to deal with this TWICE. After the tragic death of original frontman Damien Morris, and then the subsequent departure of his replacement Jamie Hope, no-one would have blamed them for throwing in the towel. However, with the new addition of former Before the Throne vocalist Chase Butler, as well as fresh drummer Tim Shearman, The Red Shore have stepped up their game hugely with their third full length album, The Avarice of Man.

Whether it’s because of the new members or not, the band has completed removed any of Hardcore/Metalcore elements of their past behind, with The Avarice of Man a complete metamorphosis of the band’s sound into a pure, 100% Death Metal act. After the intro track “Creations”, “The Seed of Annihilation” barges through with a bone-rattling mid-tempo riff before launching into a weaving technical verse, with Butler’s vocals a perfect example of the band’s new sound, with the frontman almost exclusively using low growls. “Inflict De-creation” is one of the record’s absolute high points, with fret annihilating guitar runs in the verse giving way to an exceptionally grooving chorus, with drummer Tim Shearman’s bulldozing fills smothering the track. Shearman is impressive throughout, with the young skins-man completely dominating “…And It’s Own” by laying down a faultless combination of restrained grooves and time warping blast beats – all on a constantly changing time and tempo structure.

While there is no doubting that The Avarice of Man is certainly heavier than any of The Red Shore’s previous material, the band have matured enough as songwriters to throw in plenty of hooks and even the occasional defined ‘verse/chorus’ section. The album’s title track opens with a barrage of military-tight snare rolls behind a wall of guitars, while numerous riff changes finally brings the song to a Meshuggah-esque poly-rhythmic outro, where as “Reduced to Ruin” shows off the band’s uncanny ability to throw in spine-grinding half-time grooves without ever becoming another run of the mill breakdown. The guitar tag team of Roman Koester and Jason Leombruni, along with the underrated bassist Jon Green, carry a bulk of this album, and while they rarely throw in any guitar solos into the mix, their playing and riff writing ability easily avoids stepping over the line into either over the top technical coldness or mundane simplicity.

For some The Red Shore will only ever be a dreaded ‘core’ band, but those people are seriously missing out, as the Melbourne five-piece have evolved into a pure Death Metal machine and will only continue their rise up the international heavy music ladder. The Avarice of Man, to put it simply, is an hour of Death Metal mastery and one of this country’s finest extreme metal records. 9/10

Band: The Red Shore
Album: The Avarice of Man
Year: 2010
Genre: Death Metal
Origin: Melbourne, Australia
Label: Roadrunner Records
www.myspace.com/theredshore

Track listing:

1. Creations
2. The Seed of Annihilation
3. Human, All Too Human
4. The Approaching Tempest
5. The Avarice of Man
6. Of First and Last Things
7. Armies of Damnation
8. Inflict De-Creation <- Reviewer’s choice
9. The Union…
10. …And It’s Own
11. Awakening
12. Reduced to Ruin
13. The Relapse of Humanity

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.