Release Date: December 2, 2016
Virginia’s Red Reign are back with their sophomore effort, a self-titled EP. Produced by David Ivory (Halestorm, Silvertide), this short and sweet set of five songs will definitely turn your head if you are a fan of bands like Dokken, Holy Soldier, and Queensryche’s more commercial moments. It’s thick, melodic metal…the kind you just don’t hear enough of these days.
As anyone who lived through the eighties will attest to, a singer can make or break a band of this style. Carlton McMichael has a helluva voice, though, the best I have heard in quite awhile. He reminds me a lot of original Holy Soldier vocalist Steven Patrick (although his voice isn’t quite as high). Of course, the rest of the band hold it down really well while he wails away. Stevie Shred’s leads are especially memorable, particularly on their namesake track. David Ivory’s production is spot on, hooking up a thick, beefed-up, sound that allows each instrument to shine through with clarity. “Red Reign” and “What Is Love For” are my personal favorite’s here and they perfectly do their job. They leave you wanting more when the EP ends.
I was a little hesitant to put this in because I have heard quite a few clunkers of this style in the last couple of years. You never know when you get a band like this in the mail if it's going to be a real band or a glorified bar band but Red Reign are the real deal. Every one of the songs takes you for a great ride. If you like the bands mentioned above, this is a band well worth your time.
Reviewed by mark1340