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After a fierce battle to sign these coveted young men to a worldwide contract, Metal Blade Records came out the victor. So after all the buzz surrounding THE RED CHORD’s debut album, we have their sophomore album, Clients, in hand. Frankly, Clients does not legitimize the hype that has been surrounding this band. However, it is a pretty good grind album that sees the band making improvements with hookier riffs, better song arrangements, and improved musicianship. While bizarre song titles here such as “Dragon Wagon” and “Blue Line Cretin” may not easily relay much in terms of lyrical content, the material is consistently punishing and unrelenting. Blast beats, breakdowns, off-the-wall dissonance, guttural growls ??" you name it, they dish it out. The songs get better as THE RED CHORD really hit their stride about a quarter into the record. The instrumental, “He Was Dead When I Got There,” ends Clients on a relaxed note with a mid-paced Southern/bluesy feel that would make DOWN proud. Though THE RED CHORD aren’t the second coming and have yet to become one of the underground’s best, the growth and musicianship on Clients shows the potential for better things to come. Hopefully, they can take full advantage of the spotlight while it lasts. (Metal Blade Records)