The debut album from London, metal band The Raven Age is a long one. 13 songs, 75 minutes long it’s one that will certainly test your patience especially if generic metalcore & bland clean vocals aren’t your thing.
The opening minute plus of Darkness Will Rise sets out early what you can expect. It leads into Promised Land & it’s lovely beat but it’s dragged down heavily by vocals that, while solid, are just boring. As starts go, it’s incredibly unimpressive. Slow, the band sound bored themselves & even when it picks up near the end it does little to improve the disappointment sound.
Things improve slightly with Age of the Raven, the riffs getting harder sounding but the vocals dominate again giving it a muted quality. There is some good metal hidden among the blandness but it’s struggling to get out.
A lot of the issues that plague this album relate to how it gets going only to drop the ball. The Death March is a solid piece of metal with some nice hooks but Salem’s Fate fumbles around like a blind man at an orgy. Not even halfway through the album & you’ll be thinking about calling it right there & then.
A lot of these songs just go on & on. The Merciful One is over 5 minutes of absolutely nothing, an incredibly forgettable song. It’s followed by the 6+ minute, Eye Among the Blind. Now while it is a superior song, it still badly overstays it’s welcome. This brand of monotone metalcore just can’t sustain itself & the occasional shift in sound just isn’t enough to keep interest up.
It’s not to suggest though that The Raven Age are lacking in talent. The musicianship on show is solid & steps it up on several occasions. There is no detracting from the fact that they can play & play well. Winds of Change has some of the finest riffs throughout while The Dying Embers of Life has plenty of catchy melodies & some great vocals.
The reality is though that there will be plenty of people who will have stopped listening long before the album reaches its final track. Behind the Mask is an 8+ minute finale that makes you just want to bang your head against the wall. By this stage to say The Raven Age’s brand of metalcore has got stale is one hell of an understatement.
It’s an underwhelming finish to a chore of an album. Whoever thought a 75 minute album of metalcore was a good idea really must think their crap doesn’t stink. Cut 5 songs from this & you’d probably have a good album, instead all we have is an average sounding metalcore album from an average sounding band.
Darkness Will Rise Full Track Listing:
1. Darkness Will Rise
2. Promised Land
3. Age of the Raven
4. The Death March
5. Salem’s Fate
6. The Merciful One
7. Eye Among the Blind
8. Winds of Change
9. Trapped Within the Shadows
10. My Revenge
11. The Dying Embers of Life
12. Angel in Disgrace
13. Behind the Mask
The Raven Age - Darkness Will Rise (BMG)
The Final Score - 5/10
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