Obey The Brave: Young Blood

Ex-Despised Icon frontman comes back stronger

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Despite fronting deathcore trailblazers Despised Icon, Alex Erian’s mid-range barks never quite fitted the brutal low-end of the rest of the band. Now backed by ex-members of fellow Canadians Blind Witness, Alex’s passionate, streetwise vocals are brought to the forefront of a more conventional and melodic hardcore approach.

That’s not to say Young Blood doesn’t smash you with the same intensity. There are metal-plated blasts of riffing and seismic breakdowns wherever you to look – Unstoppable being particularly uncompromising – while they keep the propulsive tempo going on Time For A Change and Get Real.

But with tracks like Live And Learn and It Starts Today, there’s just as much emphasis on simple but massive guitar melodies and all-for-one gang vocals as there is on double-bass pummelling and gurning testosterone, while there’s even room for singing on the climatic Burning Bridges. It’s these touches that take Obey The Brave from a bog standard hardcore act to truly exciting one.

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.