A Truly Rocking Album

Literally seconds after you've pressed play, this Verra Cruz album knocks you off your feet with a rapturous drum fill and guitar squeal; excellent some rock with guts! This opening track, 'Cold That You Feel' then proceeds to mellow out for a nice restrained verse, allowing the chorus to ignite even more brightly with its bitter, anguished notes and frantic pace.

'Strange Food' features a ballsy vocal howl from singer Marc James that would be worthy of Soundgarden at their finest, the lyrics are equally forceful with the same slightly-Christian vibe as Creed, "Can you tell it to the father who will lose his only son?" as the tune reaches a fabulous gritty peak of riled-up guitar riffs and insistent percussion.

Verra Cruz grind their instruments so hard that it's surprising that strings must be snapping all over the place and the best thing about it is that their bruising sound is completely British with the band hailing from the rather sedate location of St Albans, where they were probably run out of town for playing their hits too loud. 'Rock & A Hard Place' throws hefty shards of burning guitar at you during the raging solo; even tracks that start softly, like brooding 'Hell Hound' finally explode into rock delight after a good few minutes of solitary, soulful calling from Marc James, like a lone wolf on the prowl. 'Rise' is the first track that could truly be called soft rock with its low-key rolling guitar chords and positive but understated vocals, which climax in a heady, bright chorus.

'Deliver Us' starts with some charismatic string bending from a lone guitar which creeps throughout the tune with its overdriven aching riffs, an all-out onslaught is held back in favour of a brash, pained number with plenty of brutal silence.

Verra Cruz have a lot of talent and 'Emancipation Day' is an album filled with gutsy anthems that could kick plenty of arse amongst rock fans, it also has enough attitude to scare off your pop-loving younger siblings and gran, making it a formidable heavy rock weapon.