Innocence & Instinct

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AllMusic Review by Jared Johnson

Among the most anticipated rock releases of 2009, Innocence & Instinct ratcheted up the foursome's fierce attack with vivid musical imagery and more intensely pounding sonic dissonance. The band chalked up over 500 gigs on the road following their 2006 debut, earning tour spots with the likes of Papa Roach, Sevendust, Three Days Grace, Buckcherry, Puddle of Mudd, Staind, Seether, Kutless, Disciple, Third Day, and Switchfoot. In late 2007, the band's tour van crashed into a highway guardrail at 75 mph, landing sideways across lanes. Everyone miraculously survived, but not without enduring a bloody, hellish aftermath that ultimately fed the creative force behind the new album. Also drawing upon Dante's Inferno for inspiration, Innocence & Instinct goes deep inside the soul of man to explore the duality of man. And though it may not exactly be the first album to tackle this theme, it is easily one of the most explosive, hard-hitting attempts. Once again, Michael Barnes' ferocious vocals lead the attack, still able to slip at a moment from primal screaming to a controlled snarl and back again. Lead single "Fight Inside" drives home the point that this album expresses a heavyweight clash from the inside out. Above all, you get the feeling that this isn't just noise for noise's sake; that the intensity has meaning behind it. Fans who drove Red's debut over the quarter-million mark will find this effort even more intense and unstoppable.

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