Album review: Blood Youth – Visions Of Another Hell

Kaya Tarsus’ surprise-dropped swansong from British metallers Blood Youth is a beastly, beautiful thing…

Album review: Blood Youth – Visions Of Another Hell
Emma Wilkes

During early single Body Of Wire, Blood Youth’s now-former frontman Kaya Tarsus makes a startling declaration. ‘Just want to close my eyes for the very last time,’ he howls, a line that would unknowingly become more stark considering the reasons for his recent departure from the Harrogate quartet. Yet even if he was unaware at the time of recording that this surprise-released album would close the book on his time with the band, Visions Of Another Hell is a formidable final chapter of this era that balances brutality with intricacy with phenomenal results.

Blood Youth’s third record is arguably their most polished to date, which lends it a sense of immediacy, but this comes from a place of assuredness rather than a desire to dial down the heaviness. Synthetic and Colony3 are truly barbarous, with growling guitars and thumping drums that will undoubtedly keep the Slipknot comparisons pouring in (a highly complimentary comparison if there was one). The creeping electronic buzz almost reminiscent of Code Orange that works its way into the opening moments of Cells and Iron Lung is a wonderful experiment, in its best moments augmenting these songs with a genuine sense of evil. The only misfire is an occasional tendency to cram too many ideas into one song, resulting in a jarring sound.

But as brilliant as Blood Youth are at sounding menacing, they have an undeniable knack for subtlety and melody that this record seeks to reaffirm. The intricate riffs on opener a-LTX and the darkly gorgeous Kept In A Box create beautiful yet sinister atmospheres, and there are plenty of soaring, palette-cleansing choruses on offer. Indeed, the record’s most significant left turn is a surprise precisely because of its melodic quality: Open Window is epic arena metal that threatens to be rock radio friendly in parts, but never waters itself down.

Kaya will be missed, but here, he is also departing the band on a high.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Slipknot, Code Orange, Employed To Serve

Visions Of Another Hell is out October 1 via Rude Records

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