Unknown Refuge – From The Darkness – Review

Bolton based Unknown Refuge released their debut offering From The Darkness on 26th March 2021 and after much listening to the album a full on review is most definitely in order.

About The Band

This Bolton based band defy their years, with an accomplished, mature sound and performance that will set your fillings on edge. Despite their age this band gives a very mature performance that screams ‘ROCK’.
Their first major landmark was in 2016, when their debut public performance earned them 1st place in the Salford Battle of the Bands. This resulted in a recording session at SSR studios where they produced their first recorded work “Wall of Lies” followed by a headline slot at Manchester’s iconic venue ‘Band on the Wall’.
Since then they have been making their mark playing prestigious Manchester rock venues, along with appearances on the local festival scene, and headlining the Friday Rock Show at theinaugural 2018 Stonedeaf Festival at Newark Showground.

The Review

With the opening somewhat haunting piano notes to instrumental opening track From The Darkness it may not seem like you have just put on the album for an up and coming rock band… But wait….

To the Light begins with the wailing of electric guitar and speeds on with thumping drums as it builds to the chorus. By the second chorus you will be singing along and with the perfectly timed bass guitar bridge before the finger shredding lead solo you know your ears are in for a treat.

A slower number, Kicked To The Floor begins with a guitar intro before the perfectly pounding of the drums kicks in.  The song is another example of the fantastic writing skills of the guys and the arrangement of the song is stunning with every instrument playing an integral part as a whole but also with its own chance to shine.

The thumping of drums usher in the brilliant Battle Hymn in an extended intro before the vocals drop in.  The song builds beautifully, and the chorus is a lyrical work of art and begs to be heard live with the crowd singing.  The song has a multitude of depth in its parts with every instrument playing its own part in adding to the rise and fall in tempo.  An epic, anthemic beast of a song.

Shadows begins with the familiar guitar intro before the beastly sounding drums once again kick in like a mule.  Slower in tempo but never less a heavy number it chugs along with a well delivered riff and great vocal prowess.

With an opening that’s almost Megadeth in sound latest single Palace Walls is another heavy song that again demonstrates the brilliant drumming that is an integral part of many of their songs.  The drums could literally tear down walls, and the vocals are crisp and clean as are the guitars in this well worked and tight number.

Wall of Lies is once again another epic, epic song that from the opening has your full attention as it pulsates along.  A short bridge followed by a guitar solo and the musical onslaught carries on. Simply great.

As if we haven’t been treated enough already If The Gods be Good is another stunning example of the talent of the Unknown Refuge guys.  Fast, heavy and another crowd-pleasing number that is everything you could ask for in a song, great vocals and brilliant drum and guitar work.

Featuring another awesome drum-based bridge before another frenetic guitar solo I’m Not a Bad Guy is another high paced, heavy brute of a song which no doubt will have the crowd singing along to a certain line repeated in the song. ‘I’m not a bad guy, Just Go F**cking Die.’

The album closes with ‘Journey’ the lead and rhythm guitars working in perfect harmony as the bass and drums effortlessly provide the low-end power while the vocals power along to great effect.  Another beautiful bridge leading to the glorious solo in what is a fitting and perfect close to the album. 

Opinion

This is without doubt a debut album of brilliance, it is hard to find a single thing wrong with it, apart from it not being on vinyl yet.  The songs are beautifully written, and the instrumentation is perfection with intricate, finger bleeding guitar solos, and some of the most powerful and glorious drumming on the scene.  The lyrics are well written and delivered by the glorious voice of Alex in what is probably one of if not the album of the year.  From start to finish it delivers an inevitable feast of aural pleasure from a young band definitely destined for a long and bright future.

My first 10/10 review. Unknown Refuge just simply kick ass. End of.

Buy it here… now. https://unknownrefugemerchandise.bigcartel.com/

Unknown Refuge are:

Alex: Lead Vocals & Bass Guitar

Morgan: Thumper of Drums & Backing Vocals

Jack: Finger Shredding Lead Guitar

Harry: Sumptuous Rhythm Guitar (Sadly due to leave)

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