Red Chord at Underworld

Photos by Warren Zanin

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6 band that takes its name from the act of execution by throat slitting as referenced in Berg’s theatrical composition. Should we be afraid? Not judging by The Red Chord’s performance at Camden Town’s Underworld last evening. But don’t get me wrong here; the band boasts an organ churning sound that blasts through the venue at full cylinders yet the four-piece are endearingly affable in that ‘all American’ way. Frontman Guy Kozowyk repeatedly reminds his audience, “you guys are all our friends, right?” and hangs around after the gig to chat with fans.

The evening opens with death metallers Ignominious Incarceration, from Bath, and Ted Maul, hailing from London. The home-town boys certainly draw a crowd of devoted followers who create some mania in the pit and then disperse at the end of the set. The headline act, consisting of: Brad Fickeisen on drums, Guy Kozowyk on vocals, Mike McKenzie on guitar and vocals, and Greg Weeks on bass, manage to pull a fairly sparse crowd to the front and hurl them into a circle pit frenzy within seconds. Kozowyk certainly has the charisma necessary to make a crowd worship at his feet, testified by the fact that people will just not leave at the end of the set, and the band plays Responsible as an encore after the encore to satisfy enthusiastic followers and converts alike. The Red Chord draws from its three albums: Fused Together in Revolving Doors (2002), Clients (2005) and Prey for Eyes (2007), and plays a set that demonstrates the heavy guitar distortion, high speed tempo and unyielding growling that fans expect, love and adore. The abrasive sound is best reflected in songs Dreaming in Dog Years and Blue Eyed Cretin, the second of which is intensified by some members of the audience who are invited to join the band on stage to thrash it out.

The Red Chord is due to release a fourth album in October that will feature the title Fed Through The Teeth Machine and will be released via Metal Blade Records. Jonny Fay Backyard Studios is responsible for the recording of the new CD, and Chris “Zeuss” Harris, who has previously worked with Hatebreed and Shadows Fall, has mixed and mastered the album. The band has a firm underground following who beckon October nigh in the hope that the new Red Chord album will break through the iron curtain into the ‘mainstream’ metal market.

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