Consuming passion, love, longing, revenge, and destruction are just a few of the themes intricately balanced in Murder by Death’s latest release, Red of Tooth and Claw. With thundering, whisky-soaked vocals similar to those of Johnny Cash, singer/guitarist Adam Turla shows his brooding masculinity while still embracing his anger. Meanwhile, the contrasting elegance of cellist Sarah Balliet’s wintry accompaniments is finally given a voice. The band’s eerie Southern Goth rock is done quite well (see tracks “Comin’ Home,” “Rum Brave,” and “52 Ford”), but their attraction to Grecian tragedy and impossible heroism serves as their own Achilles’ heel. Eager character development and overstated themes weigh the album down and often miss the mark. Fans may forgive, but what’s left incomplete serves as a tear in an otherwise seamless album.