Red In Tooth And Claw is an intriguing listen. It’s not one of those albums that will immediately ‘grab’ you, instead serving as more of a slow-burner and a grower, but is nevertheless an album that is deserving of a closer look.
The doomy edge to the instrumentation coupled with haunting clean vocals give the piece an ambient and ethereal feeling, which works really well, especially in the opening track Blood On The Sand which is pretty crushing as it hits you with full force – the wall of guitars almost-immediately coupled with the vocals is tremendous, and the role-reversal that takes place in the track where the half-yelled vocals accompany a sparser instrumental section is a very nice touch.
Unfortunately, at times the pace is a little jerky and it throws off the flow of the album somewhat – there’s a bit of a wishy-washy feeling at times and the switches in pace and tempo don’t always pay off for the band. For example, later track Returning To The End Of The World takes a while to get going and during the verses, the instrumentation is so minimalistic that it’s left to the vocals to carry the track and inject some much-needed melody, but they’re not quite strong enough on their own.
However, whilst Red In Tooth And Claw does feature a few weak links and elements at times, this doesn’t mean it’s inherently bad and like mentioned earlier, it’s a decent enough listen if you’re prepared to invest a bit of time into it.