Justin Bezaire – Vocals/Guitar
Brian Daniel – Vocals/Guitar
Michael Davidson – Bass
Drew Larsh – Drums
Ravenscode began in 2011, with Justin Bezaire on vocals and guitar, Brian Daniel on vocals and guitar, Michael Davidson on Bass, and Drew Larsh on
percussion. After self-financing two EP’s, and touring heavily in their homeland Ontario, Ravenscode has managed to release their first full-length
album, District of Broken Hope. Their single “Hero” has been used by the Detroit Red Wings Hockey Team in their games, and they’ve successfully
established a solid if small (for now) fan base.
The single mentioned above, “Hero,” is the song that kicks off District of Broken Hope, with harsh, in-your-face riffs and brash lyrics about an
abusive boyfriend who cheats on his girl, all while thinking he’s a gift from God. While “Hero” was a great start to the album, it gets even
better with “Your Words.” The dark acoustic intro and the haunted vocals bring Linkin Park to mind, and make this song one of the best on the
album and also one of the hardest to follow. “Where Were You” is a decent song that brings out some southern elements (at least in the beginning),
but it doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by the first two tracks. “My Lies,” however, raises the bar even higher. It starts with a drum
beat that gives way to a classic guitar intro and some of the best vocals on the album.
The next song, “Hyde,” falls into the same category as “Where Were You:” although it was a good song that held my attention throughout, it
just wasn’t great after hearing “My Lies.” “Now and Then” hits the bar set by the first four tracks, with a great hard rock melody and some
more in-your-face breakup lyrics. The next track (“No Way Out”) was solid, and the title track brings out a lot more southern rock element than
one would expect from a Canadian rock group, with an acoustic intro that sounds similar to 3 Doors Down back in the early 2000s. The last three songs
are power ballads for the most part, with a lot more of that southern element we saw in the title track. Although the follow up to “District” was
a little weak, the closing tracks were solid ballads and a decent close to the album.
District of Broken Hope was a debut album from a brand new band, and that should be taken in mind before listening to the album. That being said, the
quality of the work on here is great, especially for a beginning hard rock group. It can be difficult to find good variety in hard rock, but
Ravenscode manages to do that with many of the songs on their album.
The band’s performance on the record was fantastic, particularly Bezaire and Daniel, who did a great job with the guitars and the vocals. Many hard
rock groups have poor lead vocals, but Bezaire and Daniel both pull of some great performances that also have some harmonies, something that can often
be rare in hard rock these days.
District of Broken Hope was a great listen and is highly recommended. If you haven’t already heard of these guys, you probably will in the next two
or three years. They’ve got a ton of potential, and they aren’t wasting any of it on their debut album.