I See Red, the debut album from North Bay, Ontario’s FaceTheHate is a solid thrasher that satisfies. A collection of nine tracks, the release displays strong production values and features several interesting twists and turns throughout.
The album gets off to a fine start with the appropriately titled instrumental “Beginnings”, wherein the band sets the tone with a hypnotic galloping riff that crushes, caresses, pushes, and pulls the hearer into the overall body of work. The tone thus set, the ensuing eight tracks propel the listener on a metal-injected thrill ride that will impress even the most jaded of moshers and headbangers.
From a songwriting viewpoint the entirety of I See Red is strong – if this album were a package of hot dogs it would read, “all meat, no filler”. The band displays impressive musicianship throughout utilizing elements of thrash, metalcore and progressive metal in a tightly bundled package that never loses its focus – each song stands up well on its own while serving the whole. Specifically the guitar work is stellar, although – and this is the exception – there are a couple of slower melodic lead passages that sound somewhat awkward to this ear, particularly in the aforementioned first track. That specific bit of criticism, however, is very subjective in nature with the likelihood that other ears may hear nothing awkward at all.
Lyrically the band avoids most of the cliché typically trotted out in the genre; for example, where one song totally disdains organized religion, another leaves the question of God and spirituality open-ended. It seems that FaceTheHate is satisfied with asking the questions typical of the genre without shoving the answers down our throats.
As an overall package I See Red scores a solid 4/5. If your ear enjoys great riffing and complex song arrangement with clear and brutal low end then this album is for you. FaceTheHate has given the world an excellent independent debut that deserves to be heard.