Album Review: The Red Shore - 'The Avarice of Man'

14 September 2010 | 11:41 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Only one word is needed: Heavy!

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Psycroptic aside, The Red Shore are currently peerless in the Australian metal scene. The band’s musical model is now the desired template not the aspiring and brash construct. Consequently, studio album number two and debut under the acclaimed Roadrunner umbrella is justifiably positioned at the top end of the domestic market.

Heavier than Cartman riding an elephant, ‘The Avarice of Man’ is deliberately crafted with an equally purposeful intensity. Gone are the breakdowns, replaced by continual doses of brutal riffs and machine gun double kick work. If bassist Jon Green’s assertions in the latest issue of Blunt do not get the message through, then a cursory listen certainly will. The band has made the considered and calculated decision to ditch the ‘deathcore’ tag. What we are left with is a chosen sound that is both planned and welcomed.

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Initial observations reveal that ‘The Avarice of Man’ essentially picks up from where ‘Unconsecrated’ left off. The introduction of new vocalist Chase Butler solidifies the band’s gradual move towards a heavier sound. A nitpicking analysis uncovers that there is not a great deal of progression and development from said predecessor album, but when two fifths of the band are fresh faces in to the fold, continuity is going to take time.

From the very Nile sounding ‘Human, All Too Human’ to the punishing ‘Armies of Damnation’, this offering seemingly knows one speed…fast. ‘The Approaching Tempest’ and ‘Inflict De-Creation’ are cut from the same cloth, with both driving and intimidating in delivery. Some songs do tend to mesh into others, struggling to find some sense of individual identity but this is a slight critique at absolute best. The level of execution, production quality and final result is second to none. There is certainly no inferiority complex going on here. The influences are fond but the transference is far from derivative. Performed by locals and recorded locally there is a little homegrown sentiment attached to the listen as well.

Those brooding Scandinavians, menacing central Europeans and cocky yanks might have a mortgage on the traditional and contemporary death metal sound currently, but if ‘The Avarice of Man’ is a sign of things to come, perhaps Australia might soon have a fair stake in the genre’s obvious riches.

‘The Avarice of Man’ is an affectionate embrace of traditional influence mixed with a unique musical voice. It is confident and assured, vindicated by its impressive output. There is still room for obvious growth, with little areas to clean up and improve on, but ultimately who can argue with what the band dishes up this time around.

1. Creation

2. The Seed of Annihilation

3. Human, All Too Human

4. The Approaching Tempest

5. The Avarice of Man

6. Of First and Last Thing

7. Armies of Damnation

8. Inflict De-Creation

9. The Union

10. And It's Own

11. Awakening

12. Reduced To Ruin

13. The Relapse of Humanity