Red Sun Rising are a band who barely need an introduction. Since they formed in 2007, you have undoubtedly heard them on the radio or seen them in the charts over the last few years as they’ve shot up the ranks with their remarkable power and potential. It has been three years since the sensational release of their first signed record, ‘Polyester Zeal,’ a record that brought them instant recognition with The Otherside and Emotionless both reaching number one status on the Mainstream Rock Chart. Standing on a solid foundation of two independent releases before signing with Razor & Tie records to accompany ‘Polyester Zeal,’ Ohio’s most rapidly ascending hard rock band called Red Sun Rising are set to release their second signed album with Razor & Tie, called ‘Thread.’ This album sees original members Mike Protich on guitars and vocals and Ryan Williams on lead guitar, with Dave McGarry, Ricky Miller and Pat Gerasia on rhythm guitar, bass and drums respectively since 2015.
‘Thread’ is due to be released at the end of this month, on the 30th of March after the recent release of two singles Deathwish and Fascination that are already rocking the world. With a well-rounded set of 11 tracks and a garish and slightly trippy sunflowers-with-eyes album cover, ‘Thread’ is a work of concentrated hard rock tinged with grunge and driving melodies.
Opening with a grungy guitar tone is Fascination, building quickly into a thrashing intro before dropping into a verse draped with delicate vocals with the guitars continuing the grunge feel up to the soaring chorus. Solid guitars kick in to ramp the song up a notch while Mike Protich’s smooth voice showcases his range and dynamic ability with a rough energy. The song ends with harsh guitars mellowing into a slower riff and a feeling of apprehension and urgency.
Left for Dead has a more upbeat and acoustic-accented vibe, Protich’s lyrics exploring the feelings involved in being left behind by another person who feels regret for their actions with the lines, “Now you will regret that you left us all for dead, and you’re praying that we’re all okay.” This song still holds its own as a heavy track with plenty of vigour despite its acoustic accompaniment.
Deathwish has a great sound, a simple muted guitar riff and almost pop-rock sounding vocals inducing a dance-worthy groove before reaching its peak with a hard-hitting chorus that turns dancing into headbanging. This song definitely deserves its place as a hit single from Red Sun Rising, showcasing their ability to swing wildly between groovy pop rock and melodic heaviness with an expert abandon. My favourite part was how they merged into an arena rock-esque chant towards the end of the song; I honestly cannot wait for the opportunity to see this live in the future.
Track four, Stealing Life has a mellower introduction, focusing on acoustic guitar and ethereal electric guitar picking. The chorus contains more power but still retains a certain reservation the ease the contrast between the verses and chorus. Stealing Life contains a simplistic, effect-laden atmosphere that builds to a satisfying final chorus.
El Lazo is another upbeat but rocking track. Red Sun Rising have a prevailing habit of using the same song structure of “soft / hard” but they prove again and again that it is a method that suits their sound and intent.
Lonely Girl begins with a groovy bassline courtesy of Ricky Miller that is then matched on guitars. Pat Gerasia delivers a neat and spirited drum performance through this track with reliable rhythms and quick fills. The verse and chorus seem to travel musically in a different direction to the intro but still carries everything that Red Sun Rising have made themselves known for. Lonely Girl features a brief but impressive searing guitar solo to really fill the song out and take it home.
Bringing in track seven is Veins, featuring muted down-picked guitar and low vocals that break into a crashing drumbeat and a robust riff overlapped by Protich’s rough vocals. This fast-paced track carries a euphoric and invigorating command that makes this song a solid highlight on the album. I loved the neat little addiction of some tapping by Ryan Williams over the main riff in some parts of the song.
Clarity boasts a heavy intro riff that eases into a bass-heavy verse, underlying Protich’s vocals that show beautiful range and ability. The pop rock feel of this song is a small step out of the box for the band, but that tentative foot is quickly drawn back with the hefty chorus.
Benny Two Dogs begins with a phone dial that goes to message bank backed by some interestingly placed xylophone before the song really kicks in. Like Stealing Life, acoustic guitar can be heard accompanying the raucous electric guitars to gentle the sound while still allowing room for a heavier tone in parts of the track.
With slow electric guitars to draw us into a curious bassline and soft crooning vocals, Rose is an emotional rock song that still packs a punch. Despite its slower pace and relaxed guitars, Protich’s vocals and emotive lyrics really bring the song into fruition.
Ending the album is Evil Like You, bringing the dark and harsh feeling back with a curious pinging piano and low guitars. Protich weaves a spooky web of lyrics backed by quiet drums and simple piano and bass that give the song a heavy Halloween mood, especially once the main riff kicks in again. This song is a perfect and unique finish to the album; I just wish that they’d taken more than just one song to explore the sound that they touched in with Evil Like You.
All in all, this feels like a well put together and thought out collection of music. I felt like they didn’t stray too far into the unknown, preferring to stick to what they know in terms of song structure, making a lot of the songs on this album share almost too many similarities. I loved songs like Deathwish and Evil Like You; they sounded like a step in the right direction musically, but only time will tell what this band decides to do with their sound in the future. Run Sun Rising’s ‘Thread’ deserves a rating of 80/100 and it deserves to be listened to by you, too.
GET YOUR HANDS ON RED SUN RISING’S THREAD ON THE 30TH OF MARCH HERE!