British rockers Ravenface have finally released their third album, Breathe Again, which is their first release in five years. The band went on hiatus a while back and have only recently gotten back together. Their fanbase seems to have actually grown since then, but the biggest question on everyone’s lips will be about the music – are they still producing the same quality of songs they were at the turn of the decade?
By Jane Howkins
To us, the answer to that question is yes. Breathe Again is a very good album, although the band’s music has changed somewhat since their last two albums were released, and older fans may dislike this. One thing to note is that their music has more of an accessible sound to it, with clean vocals being the name of the game here. Previously, vocalist James Denton tended to use ‘screamo’ vocals a lot, but here pretty much everything is sung in a clean fashion. Most metal bands end up going that way eventually as screaming can damage the vocal chords, and James does have a fantastic singing voice, so we don’t consider this change to be an issue.
The metallic moments are still there, with impressive guitar solos running throughout many of the songs. Opener Breathe Again has a rather brilliant solo at the beginning, and yet somehow manages to be extremely catchy at the same time. They seem to be attempting a fine balancing act between metal and melodic rock, and for the most part it works. However, there are times when it all seems a little too poppy and we’re not quite sure about the synths. They’re quite subtle which we’re thankful for, but at times it does seem like they’ve been shoehorned in there to appeal to a different market.
Perhaps that’s just us being cynical though. It’s good to hear a band like this trying something new, and considering how much their fanbase has grown since they came back from their hiatus, it seems to have worked quite well for Ravenface. Fans of their older style may feel a little put off by the more accessible feel that the album as a whole has, but if you can open yourself up to trying something different then we recommend you give this a go. They’re still one of the better rock bands in the scene at the moment, and you don’t get that far without trying different things.