Unconsecrated by The Red Shore
Release date : November 2008
Reviewed by Anthony Morgan
Hailing from Geelong, Victoria, Australia's The Red Shore initially grouped in 2005, and was comprised of the following members; Jason Leombruni handling guitars, Jamie Hope occupying bass, and Richard Johnson stepping behind the drumkit. Following a brief search, vocalist Damien Morris joined the fold. Whilst cutting inaugural EP Salvaging What's Left (2006), producer / engineer Roman Koester began to contribute, and eventually joined the The Red Shore as an additional guitarist. Laid down at Complex Studios in Melbourne, Craig Wainwright (ex-In Name and Blood) donated guest vocals to “Pulling Teeth”. Artwork duties went to Leith Gow, whereas mastering obligations fell to Neville Clark at Disk Edits in Adelaide. In December 2007 as part of the Christmas Carnage tour package alongside All Shall Perish, tragedy sadly struck The Red Shore. The group's minivan veered off the Pacific Highway down an embankment, and rolled several times. The van subsequently slammed into a tree at Moonee Beach, situated north of Coffs Harbour. The lives of both Morris, and driver / merchandiser Andy Milner, were claimed.
Hope switched to vocals, and Jon Green (ex-Picture the End) occupied bass in support of the Say Goodbye tour. Headlined by I Killed the Prom Queen (who were bidding farewell) with support from The Red Shore, Bring Me the Horizon and The Ghost Inside, the Australian trek occurred throughout May and June 2008. In October, a European jaunt saw the act, alongside Deez Nuts and Ignominious Incarceration, supporting Bring Me the Horizon.
Prior to Morris' death, The Red Shore had begun work upon an inaugural full length debut, scheduled for issue via Stomp in Australian markets, Siege of Amida in European markets, and Ferret Records in North American markets. Morris had lent vocals to three cuts, respectively entitled; “The Garden of Impurity”, “Your Chariot Awaits”, and “The Forefront of Failure”. Additionally, Morris had penned lyrics to a number christened “Rise and Fall”. All figure upon Unconsecrated, with Hope's vocals / lyrics featured within the album's other compositions. Cut at Complex Studios, Koester spearheaded production once more. “The Architects of Repulsion”, meanwhile, boasted additional vocals from All Shall Perish's Hernan “Eddie” Hermida, Bleeding Through's Brandan Schieppati, Misery Signals' Karl Schubach, and Zao's Daniel Weyandt. In late October, “The Garden of Impurity”, “Misery Hymn”, “Vehemence the Phoenix” and “Rise and Fall” were made available for streaming via the group's official MySpace page.
Drums comprise the engine which motions each cut; particularly upon both “The Garden of Impurity” and “Misery Hymn”, lightning blast beats mirror the sound produced via a cluster of consecutive bombs landing upon their location. Within other instances, Green opts towards a more restrained demeanour. Hope reaches inside his stomach in search of a mid pitched growl upon each respective number, and that is occasionally juxtaposed against higher pitched shrieks as can be heard within the likes of “Slain By the Serpent” and “The Architects of Repulsion”. Critiqued against erstwhile frontman Morris, it's difficult to pinpoint actual vocal differences.
The Red Shore share more traits with Death Metal's stubbornly brutal American initiators, as opposed to the more melodically refined Death Metal outfits which surfaced across Scandinavia during the mid nineties. Media reports document a Hardcore ambience within The Red Shore's material, but this reviewer cannot sufficiently pinpoint those hallmarks within Unconsecrated. However, these Hardcore attributes aren't wholly absent - for example, a succinct breakdown occurs during “Your Chariot Awaits”. Tempo changes materialise upon a frequent basis, with tracks championing continual shifts in gear. Opening slowly, “Rise and Fall” lulls the listener into a false sense of security. The pace accelerates, subsequently decelerates, and then hastens yet again. Guitar solos mostly reach caustic speeds, yet possess a hint of melody in other instances. Midway into “The Forefront of Failure” for example, a brooding, reflective guitar solo airs its plight. A melodic solo inaugurates the instrumental respite track “Nephilim”, and is firmly rooted within the Classic Metal vein. Bearing shades of Iron Maiden, such tones would usually pave the way for a respectable stadium anthem.
Admittedly, distinct components are largely absent upon Unconsecrated. No modifications upon the Death Metal blueprint are favoured, and the album never strays into the arms of adultery. Conversely, the full length remains faithful to Death Metal's unrelenting brutality. An approach that was prevalent during the early nineties, its appeal unfortunately dwindled following the advent of hybrid offshoots. Despite lacking unique elements, Unconsecrated is a welcome, healthy slab of unadulterated Death Metal in its potent form.