I still remember getting that first Blood Youth record Beyond Repair for review and being blown away but at just how hard-hitting and melodic it was. Never did I think though that it would take them to where they currently are. We now find them about to release new record Starve (both Rude Records) and there is a lot of anticipation surrounding it. High profile tours and high energy live shows have only added to what was already a solid foundation.
The riffs are what first stood out to me on the debut, once again it’s the feel and textures of the riffs and music on Starve that leap from the speaker, and I’m more than pleased to relay the fact that there has been a massive, massive step up in the songwriting.
The ferocity and slab-heavy edge to the production combined with Chris Pritchard’s guitars give the songs a tangible weight that I can only liken to a band such as Korn. It’s not a comparison I make lightly, but there is now a real groove to the music of Blood Youth. ‘Starve’ will have pits being launched at the beginning of their live shows for years to come. The hooks are extreme in how easy they get into your head.
I really hate to label and put bands in genres as a rule and they have clearly chosen a different route that may surprise a few people and it won’t be easy to attach the usual genre tags of post-Hardcore to this band now. There are still the melodic sections, but Metal is front and fucking centre now, with nods to Slipknot and Roots-era Sepultura aplenty.
Kaya Tarsus turns in a vocal performance that is raw and full of the kind of emotion that reaches through, grabs you by the throat and demands to be heard. I wouldn’t like to guess at what exactly he has gone through in-between records, but the vocal delivery and lyrics suggest that Starve has been a cathartic and maybe at times liberating experience for him.
‘Keep You Alive’ shows exactly where his headspace was at with the haunting line “Are you the curse I’ve chosen, Tangled up in me? Like the world we lost, Now watch me cease to be.”
Starve is a love letter to nineties metal brought kicking and screaming into the present day and with it Blood Youth has taken a massive stride towards the top of the Metal pile in the UK. It feels, like they’ve skipped over albums two and three, and are showing a maturity and confidence well beyond a band that is still, really, in its infancy.
8 / 10