Tried to walk together
But the night was growing dark
Thought you were beside me
But I reached and you were gone
Sometimes I hear you calling
From some lost and distant shore
I hear you crying softly
For the way it was before

Hymn for the Missing

This song wrecked me when it first came out in 2011. We all have that person we pray for most. Pray that they are okay, that they are safe, that they come home.

Where are you now?
Are you lost?
Will I find you again?
Are you alone?
Are you afraid?
Are you searching for me?
Why did you go?
I had to stay
Now I’m reaching for you
Will you wait, will you wait?
Will I see you again?

In our regular office jesting of camaraderie, my love for heavy music has been poked quite a few times. In response to my coworker saying that the lyrics could never be heard in metal music, I reminded him of the ballads present in most metal albums.

I’m here again
A thousand miles away from you
A broken mess, just scattered pieces of who I am
I tried so hard
Thought I could do this on my own
I’ve lost so much along the way

Working on a review for the latest Red album, I am once again reminded of how much I love their ballads. I got their first album back in 2006. With my girlfriend— now wife— with me, I popped the CD into my car’s player. With the screaming and distortion coming hard, we both looked perplexed when Pieces came halfway through the album. This is still one of my favorite songs.

I’ll never be the same
I’m caught inside the memories
The promises, our yesterdays
When I belonged to you
I just can’t walk away
’Cause after loving you
I can never be the same

Before proposing to Nikki after a Red concert in 2009, Never Be the Same was playing non-stop on my iPod. This album is still one of my favorites overall.

Slowly fading away, you’re lost and so afraid
Where is the hope in a world so cold?
Looking for a distant light, someone who can save a life
Living in fear that no one will hear your cry

I worked for a church, what I considered my dream job, between the end of 2009 and the start of 2011. As I have mentioned before, that didn’t end too well. Until We Have Faces came out less than a month after I lost my job— along with half the staff— and a little more than a month before I got married. Not Alone and The Best Is Yet to Come helped me get up and out of my broken will.

Sometimes I need to scream out my terror, my rage, my fear. But sometimes I need something to hold onto. Hope in Christ echoes through the words of Red’s ballads. These songs have gotten me through a lot. So I thought I’d share them with you. You can listen to them on Spotify or buy their albums on iTunes and Amazon.

Red — of Beauty and Rage

If you haven’t heard of Red before, they are a great band to check out. Great rock with amazing strings. Great lyrics. Since getting my record player for Christmas, I’ve been really getting back into music. Most of my recent favorites have been Americana— one of the last refuges of sex-free, violence-free, and clean-language music— but I still pull out some Demon Hunter and Red a few times a week. It’s good axe-to-the-grindstone music for me.

Well, Red has a new album coming out on February 24th called of Beauty and Rage and did something cool last night with a new service called For one hour, they streamed the whole album for free through Great, simple interface and a great way to advertise an upcoming release. Get you hooked.

The biggest complaint about their last album, Release the Panic, was the lack of orchestrated strings, leaning more to just rock. To fix that, Red released a mini-album called Release the Panic: Recalibrated last year with more strings. I, personally, love Release the Panic in itself, but also love the old strings. With of Beauty and Rage, the strings are back. Descent and Ascent are pure string gold, and weaved throughout the album are powerful string compositions harking back to their first album, End of Silence.

Red holds a special place in my heart. On February 12th, 2009 my girlfriend and I went to their concert at the Subterranean in Chicago and afterwards, as we walked back to my car, I got down on one knee and proposed. Two years later we got married, an anniversary we’ll be celebrating next month. We’ve seen them twice now in concert, the night we got engaged and a couple years ago at Winter Jam, and are trying to figure out how to see them on tour this year. I’ll likely do a full album review in a few weeks when it comes out.