Red Eleven – Handled With Chaos

Handled With Chaos Album Cover Art

Red Eleven – Handled With Chaos
Secret Entertainment
Release Date: 23/04/2021
Running Time: 47:51
Review by Beth Jones
9/10

It’s the weekend again, which can mean only one thing! Housework. Goddamn, I wish someone would invent a self-cleaning house! The first job on the list today was clean the oven, as my rather tasty home-made pie had decided to share itself with it. There is no chore more unloving than cleaning the oven, and I refute any suggestion that there is!! I managed to clean the bathroom too. The second most unloving chore. But now I’ve decided that that is quite enough cleaning for one day and everything else can wait, because now I’m going to write about more music. So there!

Next up on my ‘To-Review’ list is Finnish Alternative Rock band, Red Eleven, with their newest release; the long-awaited 4th studio album, “Handled With Chaos”.

The title track opens the album, and we’re instantly hit with 80’s synth sounds, which briefly gives it an industrial feel. But that soon gives way to a hard-hitting groovy riff, with some punch. However, the synth sounds don’t leave, instead playing the role of expanding the sound. Which is great.

Their press release says that Red Eleven have ‘found their own sound, but not forgotten their inspirers, such as Faith No More.’ Well, I love Faith No More, so that’s a good start. But can I hear that influence?

In short, yes! And it’s Epic (pardon the pun)! The whole thing has that sound, but I can hear it particularly on track 3, ‘Universe’, which reminds me so much of ‘Epic’ in the chorus, it could literally be a Faith No More song. But it’s got more of a 90’s Grunge feel to the verses, which adheres to the band’s own style. This is my favourite track on the album, by a smidgin, because there are some absolute bangers!

The one thing that hits you with this album is the lovely rumble of downtuned guitars, and bass, and the punching drums. The riffing is second to none as well. It all makes for a sound that’s fresh, exploratory, and exciting, as well as having that comforting recognition of 80’s Hard Rock. And didgeridoo (featured in the intro and ending of ‘Against My Will’)! I mean, what can’t be made infinitely better by adding Didge to it? I’ll tell you – nothing. Didgeridoo is always a winner in my book.

‘Starry Eyes’ is another awesome tune. This one’s a ballad, and you really get to appreciate the smooth vocals, and impressive range of Tony Kaikkonen here. It’s a simple song, but beautifully executed, which to me indicates an understanding of music in its purest form. It doesn’t have to be flashy and immensely technical to stand out.

‘S.N.O.T.’ takes us in another new direction, with punk elements, and classic heavy metal guitar soloing. But those heavy, punching, downtuned riffs are still ruling the day. It’s an exciting sound.

The closing track of the album, ‘Half A Life, Full Circle’, isn’t only epic in beauty, but it’s epic in length too, at just under 7 and a half minutes. It’s atmospheric, and has elements of doom, progressive rock, and the good old sounds of the 80’s. I can’t be absolutely sure if it’s synth or real, but there’s also what I believe to be a Soprano Sax solo in this. An awesomely well-placed instrument choice, again, as, alongside Didgeridoo, everything can also be improved by adding sax!

There really is a bit of everything in this album. It’s like cherry picking all the best bits of the last 4 decades and mixing them all together into a marvelously tasty creation. If you liked 80’s synth, Faith no More, the heavier Grunge that the 90’s had to offer, and something a little progressive, but still accessible, with heavy riffs, catchy melodies, and luscious vocals, then this is for you. Superb album, and another one to add to the ever-growing list of bands that I need to check out further.

‘S.N.O.T.’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Handled with Chaos
02. Before I Fall
03. Universe
04. Against My Will
05. Starry Eyes
06. S.N.O.T.
07. Nothing Left to Hide
08. Die with Honor
09. My Own Space
10. Dark Water
11. Half a Life, Full Circle

LINE-UP:
Tony Kaikkonen – Vocals
Teemu Liekkala – Guitars/Backing Vocals
Petteri Vaalimaa – Bass
Pasi Pasanen – Drums

LINKS:

Red Eleven Promo  Pic
Kuva Anna-Katri Hänninen, RED ELEVEN LAHTI

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.