Red Reign - Don't Look Back
by Kevin Wierzbicki
This hard rock quartet from Richmond, Virginia kick off their album with "No Peace, No Love" and you might think the sentiment is ripped from today's headlines. The song is actually about a struggling love relationship so it's understandable when you hear the angst in singer Carlton "Bubba" McMichael's voice as he forcefully and repeatedly belts out the song title to begin the song. Having released an EP in 2021, this is Red Reign's first full-length album and fans get a better idea here what the band is all about. The title cut is a chugging rocker with great guitar riffs, some of which come from special guest George Lynch of Dokken fame while "Here I Am" is a catchy radio-rocker with a sound that pays homage to the 1980s. "Darkness of Pain" has acoustic guitar up front and for a brief moment Red Reign show that they sound pretty good in a tender mood but the song quickly morphs into a rocking groove; "Open Space" closes the album in a '70s vein with a trippy acoustic guitar and violin music bed and somewhat cryptic lyrics. The band is rounded out by the quite appropriately named Steve Shred on guitar, Larry Moore on bass and Sammy Lee on drums.