Left For Red – Human Complex

Approaching their ten year anniversary on the UK metal scene, Left For Red are poised to uncage their new album, Human Complex. Offering ten voraciously toned, imaginatively woven tracks, it is a record which highlights all the reasons why the Midlanders have earned their strong reputation and support to date and many more why the next decade could be even more exciting for them and definitely for us.

Since emerging in 2009, the Stourbridge quintet has lured acclaim for early releases which only grew eagerly richer for their 2015 unleashed debut album, All Things Known and Buried. It is success echoed in a live presence which has equally brought thick praise and an increased following, the band sharing stages with the likes of Chimaira, Crowbar, Beholder, and Breed 77 amongst many more as well as make highly successful appearances at numerous festivals such as Bloodstock, Hammerfest, and Mammothfest. It is now very easy to expect and assume that Human Complex will bring even greater attention such its potent character, bold sound, and rousing snarl.

Recorded with Tom Gittins of Monochrome Productions, Human Complex explores the human psyche, focusing on “why people can be so arrogant and careless with their actions, and the effects they have on themselves and others.” It opens up with Dancing With Misery, a suggestive crawl of provocative sound and dark intimation. It is a shadow draped serenade, a caliginous enveloping of ears and imagination with the potent tones of vocalist LC Decoy bringing a physical head to its atmospheric Deftones hued pea-souper of a haze.

It is a start which had attention and thought deeply enthralled, the body soon as tightly engaged as Switchblade Romance followed. With its initial wiry groove enough alone to entice further eager scrutiny, the guitars of Aaron Foy and Philip Smith entangled and enthralled with ease, the senses lashing swings of drummer Rob Hadley pining down an already keen appetite as the track rises to its striking feet. Like a blend of Fear Factory and Fuckshovel, the song quickly burrowed into the psyche, providing a lingering creative toxicity ensuring many swift returns even in the face of the inescapable lures of its successor Slaves To Causality. Less grievous in its breath but just as virulent in its grooving, the third track soon placed a firm hold on attentiveness, the tantalising voice and touch of Daniel Carter’s brooding but infectious bass to the fore. Again LC enticed as inescapably as the resourceful sounds around him, the track maybe not as unique as the previous pair but equally as magnetic.

The outstanding Leech is next up and instantly throws a web of rapacious grooves and contagious rhythms around ears, its contagion invigorating and body increasingly adventurous to give The Circus which follows, a ready-made platform to tempt with its classic metal lined, groove metal fuelled show. With a potent alternative metal swing as eagerly involved in its ever evolving roar, the track stands side by side with its predecessor as one of the peaks of Human Complex before Hand Of God more than ably backs them up with its own sinuous, emotionally torturous uproar. Serpentine in nature, fractious in breath, it too is a multi-flavoured metal trespass with grooves as melodically alluring as its rhythms and irritability are invasive.

The Storm brews next, its relatively calm flesh and emotive air carrying a volatility which never ignites but brings a riveting threat and discord to the track’s captivating croon while Journey Within straight after had the body bouncing and spirit swinging through its instinctively and manipulatively catchy ingredients and enterprise. Again the band’s smart fusion of flavours to a groove metal seeded breeding makes for a greedily devoured proposition, one even more hungrily devoured within the just as individual Tame The Tides. The track is a ravening predator of a song but carrying just as delicious melodic enterprise as numerous textures unite to match the mix of metal spices; both tracks further major highlights within the album.

Human Complex closes with the evocative balladry of Sunrise Bring Serenity, a strongly engaging temptation which blossoms and fascinates with each passing moment of time and imagination. With hope and optimism lining it’s still tempestuously suggestive climate, the track brings the album to a fine conclusion.

As much as we enjoyed and were impressed with previous releases and especially the band’s first album, Left For Red has cast their finest moment yet through Human Complex, a release which could and should set the band down in the biggest spotlights.

Human Complex is released April 6th

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Pete RingMaster

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RingMaster Reviews Interviews – Skies Turn Black

Who started the band, where and when?

Jamie Jordan (Vocals/Guitars) – Me and Adam had played in bands around Manchester for years when we were teenagers. I guess this line-up really started when me and George met Danny while we were studying music at Huddersfield University.

Who plays in the band now and what are they playing?

JJ – Our current line-up is: Jamie Jordan on lead vocals and guitars, George Turner on guitars and backing vocals, Dan Woodhead on bass and Adam Jones on drums. The music is primarily written by Jamie and produced by George.

Who has inspired you?

JJ – The biggest influences on my songwriting are bands like Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine. These bands really taught me the importance of strong melodic material in heavy music. In terms of my guitar playing, I learnt a lot from Jeff Loomis’ (Arch Enemy/Nevermore) solo records, learning his material really took my playing to the next level.

Adam Jones (Drums) – Matt Halpern of Periphery is by far my greatest inspiration (even though we don’t have that much sort of stuff implied by our music) for his creativity in unique uses of parts of the kit, groove and learning how to make the most of what you have in front on you, which is what drumming’s all about at gigs.

Dan Woodhead (Bass) – Rush are the band that started it all for me. They really got me into how bass guitar can fit into progressive music and not just be a background instrument. All through the career, even in the synths 80’s period, bass is such a prominent part of the band. From the grooves in Working Man all the way up to the latest Clockwork Angels album. I find it all musically inspiring. Bands from around my era have growing up still stick with me though, A Day To Remember and Four Year Strong being the big ones that made things in a life a little heavier for me.

Why this name? And tell us the meaning of it.

JJ – The name actually came from a British band called Malefice, they had a song called “As The Skies Turn Black” and I thought it sounded really cool!

Have you released any albums? If so, when and what’s the name of it?

DW – Our debut album was out 19th October, titled ‘No Place Like Home’. It’s a 13 track album and we have just released the first single from it, ‘Let You Down’, which did really well! We are just really excited to get the album out; you can pre-order it now from our webstore. We love it.

Have you played with some famous band?

DW – We’ve been on line ups with bands like Crazytown and supported a band called E.Y.E once that had supported Metallica, Evanescence and Anathema in their home country, so that was pretty cool. The dream is to be on a support tour with Avenged or Bullet; that for me would be perfect.

JJ – Although when we played on Kerrang! it was between Alice in Chains and Slipknot which was pretty cool

What’s the plans for the future?

DW – Keep going. We love what we do, and we want the band to do well, but the only way we can have a chance of this happening is by going strong constantly, there’s no resting for us. The album is out now so check it out on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and loads more.

https://www.facebook.com/SkiesTurnBlack/  https://open.spotify.com/album/5u3bXkJvReEbxQ8VnjQ3Lb

Questions by Elliot Leaver