Released: 2009, At A Loss Recordings
Wow man, it’s tough finding information on Chicago’s Raise The Red Lantern (RTRL). Both their website and their label’s website are those crappy MySpace things which are fucking less than useless. C’mon guys, you’re not exactly a household name, help a guy dig up some info on ya – it’s not like you’re some ultra-kvlt black metal hags is it? Anyway, as it turns out, the band has several preview albums to their name, not the least of which is their previous one – THUNDERFUCK. Great title, and it certainly made me curious about this one.
Maybe the lack of info is intentional and RTRL want to let their music do the talking – fair enough. One listen through this album and it’s clear that RTRL reside firmly in the sludgey, stoner side of the metal realm as RTRL (the album) is full of crusty guitars, thunderous grooves, and howled vocals. These are longer than average songs, giving the band lots of time to stretch their instrumental wings (although there is only one true instrumental track on the album – “Deliver Us / Deliverance”). They prove that they certainly know what they’re doing but unfortunately none of the songs really connects or hits hard enough to leave a lasting impression. The opener “Ritual” starts off heavy and engaging before tapering off, and “Wild Stallions” and “No Man’s Land” are punchy, effective songs, but on the whole, the album just kinds plays and drifts into the background. For a band playing in the same arena as High On Fire, that’s a death sentence.
Ultimately, Raise The Red Lantern can’t compete with the greatest bands in their genre, but for hardcore fans of sludgey metal, they might be worth a look.