Red Rum – To War

Band: Red Rum
Album: To War
Release Date: 3rd April 2020
Record Label: Trollzorn Records

Red Rum are an excellent bunch of pirates from the UK who I have the pleasure of knowing personally. I’ve seen them many times live, most recently back in December at HRH Vikings Chapter II, where they performed a mix of their own tracks, and a few covers, including a parody of Limp Bizkit’s Rollin’ (Rowin’), and an acoustic cover of Seven Drunken Nights. They’re always a fantastically fun band to watch live, and there’s always plenty of opportunity to dance around and have fun. For those of you less familiar with Red Rum, you may know them from their cover of “They’re Taking The Hobbits To Isengard”, which was released several years ago.
To War is a just under 30 minute EP by the band, and I had heard the title track many months ago, it already had more depth and layers than the previous releases and felt more polished, but this is the first time I’ve listened to the EP in its entirety.

The Prologue does just that, and introduces us to the tale of To War, with gentle instrumentation and a tale spoken over the top, and builds up to the title track To War. It’s a good headbanging riff, and a bit heavier than what we are used to hearing from Red Rum, despite the keys bringing a lighter air to the instrumental. After the first verse with Captain Davey Silver’s unmistakable vocals, the track does get the more familiar pirate metal jig feel. In fact, while writing this I’m listening and dancing in my office chair! From experience, this is an excellent piece to see live, and I’m shouting along to the little riffs and singing along to the lyrics, and of course rowing along to the Captain!

Under Iron Skies brings a less jolly feel to the EP, more one of hardship and struggle on the high seas. After a slower intro, the track speeds up significantly, and I can foresee a bit of a pit opening up whenever we are allowed back to gigs as normal. While I probably won’t be in the pit, I’ll be joining in with a good old headbang. A gentle introduction to Blackest Depths slowly builds up to a tempo which again can perhaps produce a pit (maybe a la Raised By Owls in your own home?) There seems to be a bit more grit in the vocals which fits really well with the feel of the track. There’s even some blast beats for you more hardened metal folks. This track has everything, heaviness, calmer bridges, and a key change!

Through the Eye of the Storm brings a more pirate feel from the start with the keys more prominent in the mix, and the main riffs and rhythm. It has a similar feel as To War. Finally, Hangman’s Rest brings us to the end of the EP. The instrumental has a very power metal feel with the heavy keys, which is definitely my jam right now. It’s another track I can’t help but dance in my office chair to. I wish my parents were as into metal as me so we could have a good old dance to this and have a little jig pit in the living room.

To War shows that the music of Red Rum has matured with a heavier sound and many more layers to the instrumentals, but it still has the core of Red Rum in its heart. My only slight issue is that the transition between the Prologue and To War could be a little smoother, I felt there could have been a great blend between the tracks and it didn’t quite work for me. The tracks sound really professional and have so many elements that really fill the instrumentals. In times such as these, having a high energy EP like this is great for the soul and the mind. It makes me smile and dance, which are two things the whole world needs right now!

Red Rum – Hangman’s Rest

Verdict: 9/10

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