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Unknown Refuge: From The Darkness

There’s a real sense of authenticity about From The Darkness, the debut album from Bolton, England’s Unknown Refuge. It also quickly belies the youth of a band that came together 4 or 5 years ago when they were in their mid-teens and now present their opening blast. The passing of time between forming and debut full length album hasn’t been wasted either, a real confidence flowing throughout an album that pulls from such a wide variety of sources that in the wrong hands it could all have felt disjointed. Here, however, the results simply prove that Unknown Refuge clearly love this music, and it shows on each and every track.

It’s the album’s title track that opens in enigmatic fashion, although it’s a mere scene setter for the riff bursting “To The Light”, singer (and bassist) Alex Mancini providing an enigmatic focal point while guitarist Jack Tracey grinds out some serious gut bursting fret forays. The sound already is big and bold, yet controlled and uncontrived. Are Unknown Refuge children of the 90s, or 80s inspired rockers? Well, interestingly, the answer appears to be both and also quite a bit more besides. In places on “Kicked To The Floor” I’m reminded of another rock/90s crossover act, Age Of Electric, and “Battle Hymn” (not an homage to Manowar I may add) cranks up that feel in some style. Here a clever guitar line sparks off the thumping drums from Morgan Deveney, but again it’s the cascading vocals that hit the mark in irresistible fashion.

From there “Shadows” goes dark by hitting like Black album Metallica, the stop-start riffing biting in deep, before “Palace Walls” adds a confident strut that carries you along on its veiled majesty. Elsewhere there are clever little Iron Maiden nods, choruses that rabble rouse in a way that could suggest that they’d Shout At The Devil and yet never once are these wide and varied inspiration sources anything less than focused and cohesive. That in itself makes you take Unknown Refuge very seriously indeed and while it’s early in 2021, I’d suggest we have a contender for debut album of the year on our hands.

Track Listing
1. From The Darkness
2. To The Light
3. Kicked To The Floor
4. Battle Hymn
5. Shadows
6. Palace Walls
7. Wall Of Lies
8. If The Gods Be Good
9. I’m Not A Bad Guy
10. Journey

Added: April 2nd 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Unknow Refuge Store
Hits: 463
Language: english

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