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Yes, I've heard of the name Falling Red; yes, I've seen pictures of the band; yes, I've seen the name of guitarist Jayde Starr and yes, I've heard of the comparisons to Black Veil Brides and The Defiled. All of this resulted in one thing, up until now, I hadn't bothered listening to them. Guilty as charged, when I saw 'Empire Of The Damned', the sophomore offering from Falling Red, in my review pile this month, my heart sank a little bit. Why? Well, I put image in front of the music. In my defence, I listen to so many bands that it's very difficult to try and keep tabs on everything but I've learnt, once again, NEVER judge a book by its cover!

Falling Red are described by many as Post-Sleaze. I'm starting to get very confused with all the genre tags lately because there are hundreds but, if Post-Sleaze means that 'Empire Of The Damned' appears to be the completely natural and brilliant successor to Skid Row's 'Slave To The Grind' album then I'll go along with it! From start to finish this album is an unbridled joy to listen to. Full of fist pumping, swaggering and sleazy Hard and Heavy Rock, so catchy it will have you making a swift visit to your local STD clinic, and played and produced to the very highest of standards, then Falling Red should very definitely not only appeal to younger fans but also to old farts like me who remember the 80s well, and sometimes want to relive a little bit of that madness!

Intro 'Time To Rise' gives way to first track proper 'The Devil You Know' and, boom, my legs were following the bass drum pattern! (hey, I'm a drummer so I don't do air guitar). These songs are almost perfectly formed. Great verses lead into some of the best choruses, solos and key changes this side of ‘Appetite For Destruction’. Granted, you know exactly what's coming, but it's so well done, and with so much energy and balls, that you cannot help but fall in love with it. Vocalist and lead guitarist Rozey sounds like a young Sebastian Bach and the rhythm section of bassist Dann Marx and drummer Dave Sanders is powerful and tight. Completed by the aforementioned guitarist Jayde Starr, this four-piece know how to Rock big time. Just listen to the riffs, melody and the all important gaps that let the bass shine through on 'We Escaped A Cult', 'Break Me', ‘No Sanctuary', 'Lonely Way To Die', 'Change For No One' and the title track, and tell me this album wouldn't have been absolutely frigging enormous had it been released in 1987! I'm off to play 'Empire Of The Damned' for the umpteenth time, pour a Jack Daniels and then whip myself for doubting Falling Red based on their appearance! I also hope that they can forgive my severe lack of judgment!
Review by Rick Tilley
27th Jan 2014
1) Time to Rise
2) The Devil You Know
3) We Escaped a Cult
4) Break Me
5) Outcast
6) Disposable
7) Empire of the Damned
8) We Are Reckless
9) No Sanctuary
10) Lonely Way to Die
11) Change for No One
"...'Empire Of The Damned' appears to be the completely natural and brilliant successor to Skid Row's 'Slave To The Grind'..."