With the amount of touring that RavenEye have been doing, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’d been around for years and that this was their third or fourth studio album. As it is, they were formed back in 2014, and this is their debut album – following on from their debut EP, Breaking Out, which was released in 2015.[columns] [column size=”1/3″]
Album Title: Nova
Release Date: 23 September 2016
Label: Frontiers Records
This album doesn’t mess around – rather it throws you right in at the deep end, with a behemoth of a track kicking things off. And what a track “Wanna Feel You” is – the guitar riffs give you a real sense of the band, the album and the treasures that await you.
In fact, the guitar riffs are the main thing that bind this album together – even the songs that sound surprisingly different (yet, bizarrely, similar) are bound together by the great guitar playing. If you’re looking a good example of this, tracks 3 and 4 (“Inside” and “Hero”) work well – there are enough differences between them (the first reminds me of The Hives, while the latter is more reminiscent of the Foo Fighters) to recognize them as different songs, but the guitar-work marries them together beautifully.
This is an album that demands several listens – purely because you’ll find yourself listening to it, and before you know it, it’s on track seven and you’re left wondering where the intervening five tracks went. And I mean that in a good way – you’ll find yourself immersed in this album. In fact, I had to listen to it three times before I could even start this review.
It’s hard to pick a stand-out song on this album – because they’re all incredibly good. If push came to shove, I think I’d have to go for “Inside,” but that would be a really, really close call. And it would depend on what song I’d just listened to. For example, while typing this single paragraph, I was listening to “Oh My Love” and all I could think was “y’know, I think this is my favourite song now.”
“Madeline” is probably the closest we get to a ballad on here – and by close, I mean “not close at all.” It’s just that this feels like a slightly angry song written to a girl called, presumably, Madeline. But it’s an incredible song – probably one of my favourites (along with basically every other song on the album).
Then we move into “Hate.” Not the feeling, but the song. And this is another incredible song on a frankly incredible album. Usually bands releasing their first album have at least one duffer/filler track. But not RavenEye. This album is basically all killer, no filler. Even moving into the last two tracks, there was a part of me thinking “one of these is bound to suck” – boy, am I glad I was wrong. There are literally no poor tracks on this album. Which, for a first album, is a great thing to be able to say.
“Eternity” is a great way to end the album – not everyone would have the balls to end an album as ‘heavy’ (or at least guitar-oriented) with a borderline acoustic number. But these guys do just that – and what a song. Even when it moves away from acoustic, it sounds incredible and leaves you wanting more. Just one more listen to the entire album. Which’ll lead to another. It’s a vicious circle.
This is a band who have already played the Download Festival – and that’s before they’d released a CD/album/whatever the young ‘uns call them these days. This is a band who have, seemingly, already found their sound. This is a band who aren’t so much on the way as most of the way there.
I’ve been reliably informed that RavenEye are playing one of local venues soon – I think I’m going to have to venture out of the comfort of my cave to see them. If this album is anything to go by, their live set will be insane.