Red Cain - Kindred: Act I - (8.5/10)
Published on February 18, 2019
Genre:Melodic Power / Progressive Metal
The reason I always find myself looking into progressive music is because I feel it allows for so much freedom and creativity, thus permitting the bands to surprise you and not follow any restrictive regulations. Red Cain’s debut album Kindred: Act I is living breathing evidence of this concept. Coming from Calgary Canada yet with European origins, this talented 4 piece brings together a flamboyant blend of prog & power metal with even some throwback 80’s effects and hints of goth & industrial (or at least that’s how I perceive it). The result is dramatic, flamboyant and massively imposing. They have influences from countless different bands and directions that they have succeeded at channeling into a trademark sound of their own. Some such sources of inspiration listed by the band are Kamelot, Symphony X, Tesseract, Draconian, Marylin Manson and Alter Bridge. Consider how different all of these are and try to imagine something that takes hints from all of them without becoming a ridiculous musical stew. That is kind of what this band did with Kindred: Act I and a few attentive streams of this album have convinced me that these people are going places.
What springs to your attention the first times hearing Red Cain is the undeniably brilliant vocal performance of front-man Evgeny Zayarny. His main style is directed towards a Tommy Karevik signature flaring power metal belt, but with an industrial Lindemann/Marylin Manson edge to it that feels theatrical and some falsetto high notes contrasting at times that remind me of Leprous’ Einar Solberg. No actual metal harsh vocals emerge from the man’s chest but he does achieve a wide range of expressions that goes from soaring melodies to pure aggression or softer melancholic interludes. All of this becomes even more colorful when vocal processors or effects play into the game. Having praised him long enough I want to direct your attention to the instrumental side, mainly guitars and keys. Noah Bockmuehl’s riffing also revolves around a power metal structure but is always progressively tinged with a captivating early Symphony X like menacing feel alongside the forward pushing energetic drum work. The deep heavy tone even falls into nu-metal territory at times. Turning to the melodic spectrum, lead guitars and passion charged solos are persistently coloring the soundscapes every time the vocals take a break and alongside come the keyboards/synths/effects. I find it a bit unsettling that there isn’t a keyboardist in the band’s line-up considering what a massive role the synths and effects play in the picture. I get a Stratovarius vibe from some of it but also what gives me a prominent 80’s fell is the third track titled ‘Zero’.
Viewing the big picture of how songs are built I must notice powerful catchy choruses stealing the spotlight but Red Cain avoids falling into a repetitive mainstream song structure. There are lots of different ideas compressed into a single song but everything is kept melodic and perceivable. I’m getting a feeling that many of these easily listenable riffs and melodies came from momentary inspirations but were afterwards fiddled with to achieve a more complex result. It does seem like on all levels this band plays a delicate balance between intricacy and instant hooks. Take the massive sounding ‘All is Violence’ with its majestic chorus and huge headbang worthy riffs. Especially the intro to this song shows some of the heaviest material in store on the album.
As tightly packed and diverse as this album is, there was still room for guest performances. This endeavor gives me a sense that the band wanted to push boundaries as far as they could to really go the whole nine yards, despite already achieving a good end result. The most noticeable of three such collaborations on a short 39-minute record is the vocal performance of Kobra Paige from Kobra and the Lotus on the closing track ‘Wing of the Crow’ more spotlighted in the intro section of the song. Considering that this band only has one EP released so far, the debut ‘Kindred: Act I’ is definitely one to fit the category -exceeds Expectations- and it does make one wonder if an Act II might be lurking somewhere in the foreseeable future. If that’s the case I will be checking it out and I recommend you do the same with this one. Releases independently on March 1st 2019!