Bring to mind if you will, a picture of Blackpool – what do you think of? The tower, donkeys, and cheap holiday packages? It’s certainly not somewhere I’d imagine a group of guys could come together and create one of the best melodic metalcore records around.
This album gives me serious pride in what Britain is creating to keep our metal scene alive and Ravenface are a massive part of this!
Taking their lead from US metalcore acts such as Trivium, Killswitch Engage and Five Finger Death Punch, Divided Kingdom pairs soaring choruses with crushing breakdowns to bring together a record just as powerful as anything put out by those other groups.
I’m a massive fan of any album that starts with a short intro track, it leads you into the sea rather than just pushing you in! The Leviathan is exactly that; it’s slow moving yet massive and builds up just the right amount of atmosphere before Last Man Standing drops in and smashes your ears. Hammering drums mixed with fast riffing accompanied by a double kick assault lead into impressive screams from frontman James Denton. The thing about melodic metalcore is that when it’s done right, it has a completely schizophrenic outlook. So many emotions can be charged up and released though the mix of vocal styles. Clean guitar lines meet with aggressive drumming and from there, you have a hit. The title track Divided Kingdom is no different, chugging guitars lead through soaring choruses and screamed verses.
It’s worth noting just how sparkling the production on this record actually is. Each instrument is carefully leveled, yet each takes centre stage when it should do, in perfect balance! Echo From The Sky is an insanely brilliant track, just over a minute long but nailing everything it should be, a respite from the mix of chaos, but with enough atmosphere to make sure the tone of the record isn’t lost. Sorrow Remains follows it up, anthemic and self-reflecting, which is something I feel is connected superbly in this record. Soaring vocals carry this track home.
Onwards to the final two tracks from this release; Transparency and Take Them All are two powerfully written tracks. Their soulful, deep songwriting matches haunting guitar lines, whilst the screams return to finish the record, taking it full circle. This is something I want to scream out at the top of my voice at a live show!
Ravenface are a band set for big things. I see no reason why their music shouldn’t see them reach the same heights as Bullet For My Valentine and fill arenas worldwide.
If this release is anything to go by, their future should be very bright indeed.