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Raise the Red Lantern

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Album Review

Clearly aware that they'd have a hard time topping the title chosen for their first album, 2006's Thunderf**k, Chicago's Raise the Red Lantern took the eponymous route for their follow-up, three years later. But the images conjured by that forceful title certainly carry over into the brazen music characterizing this sophomore behemoth, which was recorded in the band's hometown by engineer/musician Sanford Parker (Minsk, Nachtmystium, Buried at Sea, etc.). Beginning with the aptly named "Ritual in Cm," Raise the Red Lantern establish their modern, not quite post-metal stomping grounds, where complex guitar weavings and the pervasive grime of Southern-style sludge forestall any chance that the material might get too civilized. In fact, Arkansas heavyweights Rwake emerge as an obvious touchstone on this and subsequent standouts like "Thick as Thieves" and "Seduction of Slumber," while "Oracle" suggests post-metal stylings (think Pelican, Isis, etc.) so filthy and corroded that they are barely recognizable as such. And nestled amidst all this controlled chaos is the unexpected overdriven bass solo, "Deliver Us/Deliverance," which transfigures Cliff Burton's "Anasthesia (Pulling Teeth)" for the post-Kyuss universe. Through it all, Raise the Red Lantern inevitably project a distinct nasty streak, equally prone to fits of metallic abandon à la High on Fire or Saviours as it is to relapses into the bandmembers' hardcore upbringing, thereby virtually guaranteeing a physical response from listeners, whether they love it or hate it. Chances are they won't hate it, though.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Chicago's Raise the Red Lantern derives its name from an award-winning movie set in 1920s China, but their music, with its unpredictable amalgam of progressive metalcore and southern sludge, is 100-percent made in America. And before Raise the Red Lantern's debut via with 2006's descriptively named Thunderf**k album, founders Dylan Patterson (guitar, vocals) and Kris Milkent (guitar) had already made a name for themselves as the men behind Emperor Cabinets, which supplies amplifiers for major acts...
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Raise the Red Lantern, Raise The Red Lantern
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