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Crucified Barbara - "In the Red" (CD)

Crucified Barbara - "In the Red" CD cover image

"In the Red" track listing:

1. I Sell My Kids for Rock'N'Roll
2. To Kill a Man
3. Electric Sky
4. The Ghost Inside
5. Don't Call On Me
6. In The Red
7. Lunatic #1
8. Shadows
9. Finders Keepers
10. Do You Want Me
11. Follow The Stream

Reviewed by on September 4, 2014

"Refusing to give up the fist pumping fun of rock while playing heavy metal, Crucified Barbara's 'In The Red' is a must-hear for fans of either genre."

The average underground metal fan seeing Crucified Barbara in the daily news feed probably made the same mistake I did in expecting this Scandinavian all-female rock band to be too upbeat and soft to hold my attention. That turned out to not be the case at all, as “In The Red” has the best of both worlds: an energetic rockin' vibe with more than enough of a metal edge. If you dig metal/rock crossovers like Doro or want a more serious and less humorously misogynistic Steel Panther, “In The Red” is absolutely the album for you.

The album opens with the catchy “I Sell My Kids For Rock 'N Roll,” an anthem of rebellion against slowing down the rock just because of age, and then shifts into the slower but harder hitting “To Kill A Man,” which would make a great soundtrack to an “I Spit On Your Grave”-style revenge flick. Third track, “Electric Sky” then splits the difference, being catchy but still heavy.

The album as a whole is incredibly cohesive, keeping up a solid and recognizable vibe while slightly altering the formula to switch between punk rock partying and darker themes. There's not much in the way of experimentation or a single stand-out track, but that's actually more of a good thing than you might think, as there's really no filler tracks either.

“In The Red” is likely to hold the attention of extreme metal fans better than a good deal of the other rock hybrid groups. Granted it's not brutal or extreme, but so long as you don't head into it expecting Arch Enemy you'll be good to go. These tracks are definitely heavier than say Lita Ford's material, but much more rock focused and less on the extreme end than other all-female groups such as Astarte. This leads to both high powered guitar riffing on tracks like “Lunatic” alongside an old school Blue Oyster Cult feel on “Finders Keepers.”

Refusing to give up the fist pumping fun of rock while playing heavy metal, Crucified Barbara's “In The Red” is a must-hear for fans of either genre.

Highs: A great meshing of energetic rock with hard hitting metal with essentially no filler material.

Lows: If you only dig extreme metal this won't have as much appeal, and there's not much in the way of experimentation or a single stand out track.

Bottom line: Rock and metal rarely sound this good together - even if the less heavy end of music doesn't usually appeal to you, give this one a listen anyway.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)