Generation Kill [USA]
Red, White and Blood
Season of Mist
After my encounter with Exodus‘ Exhibit B: The Human Condition, I fell in love with Rob Dukes’ aggressive shouting vocals, finding him a perfect fit into the band despite numerous fans’ outcries against his works with the band. This especially so after watching the band’s live performance 2 years ago, with Rob Dukes’ energetic performance bringing the intensity of the band’s music up several notches. While it has already been mentioned that Generation Kill would be a rather different sounding band than Exodus, it still managed to get me rather excited, with Red, White and Blood being the band’s debut full length album.
And Generation Kill proved rather surprising indeed, first with the acoustic intro of Hate being rather misleading, but one knows that this is just a false calm before all hell break loose. But as the track begins proper the contrasts with Rob Dukes’ Exodus is rather stark, as the music on Generation Kill‘s Red White and Blood has a rather punk-ish feel to them, especially in the playing styles of guitarists Trenczer and Lehman. Bassist Moschetti also provide that punk-feel with his playing style, evident on songs like Hate and the intro of Red, White and Blood. While for the most part of Hate he screams his head off a la the style he is used to on Exodus, it doesn’t really take long for one to notice the different in his vocal approach, with a more crossover thrash and punk-influenced styled shout, though with a more aggressive edge here.
Fitting to the lyrical themes and concepts that underlie Red, White and Blood, the band has included numerous segments that are related to those of war, such as on the title-track, and the inclusion of The Star-Spangled Banner towards the end of the track as well, giving a rather intentional ironic feel, with the seeming patriotism on one hand and the war and destruction on the other. The production on the album is also stellar, with the guitar tones being extremely crushing, as if the energy that the band emanates weren’t enough to bring their points across to the listener.
Unfortunately there are some pitfalls that are on the album that caused the experience to be slightly affected, first with the softer moments on the album. For example, Feast of the Wolves see the band suddenly moving to softer segments with clean vocals, and this sudden break in the aggression and energy being rather abrupt causes the momentum and inertia garnered by the band so far on the track to be lost. Then there are also the slower tracks on the album like Self Medicating that despite being part of the overall concept and story of the album, end up being honestly too draggy, lasting for more than 6 minutes and quickly overstaying its welcome. Furthermore, the album generally takes a slowdown after the halfway mark, though for the most part the heaviness is fortunately not compromised.
Overall though, Red, White and Blood has been a rather enjoyable, albeit different, listening experience for fans who have been directed here from their experience with Rob Dukes on Exodus, though slightly inconsistent at times.