The Way Out

December In Red

CaviGold Records, 2015

http://artistecard.com/DIR

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/16/2015

If only Seattle's December In Red formed in 1989 instead of 2009. If they had, it's quite likely they would have been swept up by the major labels when grunge made its way headfirst into the mainstream and every decent band from anywhere near Seattle was The Next Big Thing.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

To be fair, December In Red is much more than thick, hard rock. Proof of this is evident during these first few minutes with “The Call,” which is a futuristic, ominous, almost cinematic instrumental. That track bursts into the thick and chugging “Hooks & Splatters,” which alternates between clean singing and backing tortured singing. Part post-hardcore, part nu-metal and with a guitar solo, it's a musical slap to the face that sends the message to listen attentively.

Later on, “Send Me A Post Card” sounds right at home with today's hard rock on the FM dial with its melodic yet tense and groove-filled atmosphere, and after several loud rockers, the quieter “Corduroy” moves from a throbbing bass line into a charged tone before fading out with restraint and calm beauty. This segues into the abrasive “De D' Aur” that leads with harsher vocals and maintains a much more aggressive style, but the band brings a more modern angle later on with “Pelican.” Late in the disc the quick track “The Fundamental” illustrates an experimental angle before the closer “Don't Be Surprised.” Fittingly, the album finishes by bringing the band's vast influences into one memorable and defining track.

If bands like Deftones, A Perfect Circle or (hed)PE are in your interest (Jahred of (hed)PE actually makes an appearance on “Hadouken”), this second album from December In Red deserves a spot in your rotation. Not only can frontman Del McGeachy sing well and uses his melodic pipes strategically against the subtle throaty vocals, but the skilled musicianship and incredible bass work all scream top notch.

Rating: A-

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