This album has been one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2005 and has made or even topped many 2005 top 10 lists. Some fans have been left with a bitter taste in their mouth with this record because they preferred the more experimental previous album from THE RED CHORD, “Fused Together In Revolving Doors”. Having not heard “Fused Together…” I’m in no position to make comparisons, but to make “Clients” look disappointing in comparison it must be an unbelievably good album indeed.
With “Clients”, THE RED CHORD have managed to create one of the most intense Death Metal albums since DYING FETUS’ “Stop At Nothing”. Fusing together Hardcore and Death Metal is usually bound to either piss off Death Metal fans or overwhelm the fans of Hardcore, but THE RED CHORD do it in a way that manages to unite the two genres into one enormous head banging experience. One of the most apparent amalgamations of the two genres is the vocal work of Guy Kozowyk, which treads the line between a hardcore shout and a Death Metal growl and has a fantastic abrasive quality, which fits the music like a glove.
From the first track, “Fixation On The Plastics”, you will be pummeled into your chair with brutal Death Metal blasts and ferocious Hardcore breakdowns. The sonic assault continues throughout the next four tracks, “Lay The Tarp”, “Black Santa”, “Antman” and the title track, “Clients”. All of these tracks are fucking brilliant and by the time they are over your neck will be aching intensely and your ears throbbing. Mercifully, the second half of the album isn’t quite as fast and includes some clean Thrashy guitar sections to give you a rest in between the brutal parts. This was a very wise move by the boys, because if the intensity displayed at the start of the album were continued for the whole 37 minutes and 19 seconds of this album it would become very overbearing.
If you were to busy head banging through the first 5 tracks to notice, it becomes quite apparent within the second half of this album that these fuckers know how to use their instruments. Every song is full of complex rhythm changes and elaborate chord progressions. Also worthy of mention is the drummer, Brad Fickeisen, who is simply amazing. His work behind the kit adds an extra dimension to the music and overall just kicks ass.
Every song has its high points and its extremely high points, so if I could pick out one weakness on this record it would have to be the last track, “He Was Dead When I Got There”. In almost every review I have read the reviewer has harped on about how great this track is, but for me it’s just a boring instrumental that might have been effective if it were shorter. I know almost everyone is going to disagree with me here, but if I were worried about that I would have omitted the previous sentence.
In conclusion, I will relate to you how I broke my lamp last night (don’t worry, its relevant). I was listening to “Clients” and was head banging so hard the momentum of my head flying upwards temporarily lifted me off my feet, causing me to stumble into and break my lamp. An album that can make you head bang that goddamn hard is obviously a rare and beautiful thing, so I suggest you buy it right now. (Online February 22, 2006)