ALBUM REVIEW: Ithaca – They Fear Us


Following the release of their debut album The Language Of Injury in 2019, Ithaca quite rightly found themselves labelled as one of the new up and coming buzz bands in the UK’s Metal scene. The album was a furious slice of post-hardcore / metalcore, full of great riffs and powerful vocals delivered by singer Djamilla Boden Azzouz, which saw them saw them gain comparisons with the likes of other heavy, strong bands including Svalbard and Employed To Serve.

They Fear Us (Hassle Records) is nothing but an ambitious follow-up which expands on their sound and sees them develop a style which perhaps signifies the evolvement of a band who are looking to break out of the pure underground scene. There is a greater emphasis of the use of clean vocals, which had been hinted at on their debut, but for the most part had stayed sitting in the background.

This collection of songs sees a clear progression in their sound and is an adventurous release, with a cleaner production than on their debut which was raw and abrasive throughout. There is a hell of a lot more melody here, and an accentuated use of a verse/chorus divide in the delivery of the bursts of screaming vocals, mixed with longer passages of cleaner singing.

The album opens with ‘In The Way’ which absolutely sets the tone for what’s to come; kicking off in a screamo style with a nod to Deftones in the music. When the vocals come in clean there is a hint of a Lilly Allen sound in Azzouz’s voice, which continues into ‘The Future Says Thank You’, where there is also an eighties pop influence, before a harmonised shouty vocal section sees the track out.

The title track is one of the stand out cuts featuring an electronica / industrial intro, and a hypnotic weaving guitar lead which evolves into one of the best riffs I’ve heard in a while.

The two sides of Ithaca’s coin is shown over the next couple of tracks with ‘Camera Eats First’ showcasing dreamy melodic sections with real pop-music sensibility, and then ‘Cremation Party’ which is just a short sharp burst of hardcore from start to finish. From here, we are delivered quite a diverse set of influences with a wicked thrash-cum-nineties groove metal riff on ‘Number Five’, shades of both Rolo Tomassi and Architects on ‘Fluorescent’, and a flashy hard rock guitar solo on ‘You Should Have Gone Back’ – another stand out moment. The track starts, chilled with dreamy synths and a simple yet effective off-beat drum pattern, but then drops like an atomic bomb at the halfway point as Azzouz screams “We’ve Got A Problem!”

The album finishes with ‘Hold, Be Held’ which is a real sweet note ending; an organic shoegaze opening and electronic drum patterns, highlighting the greater influence of melody that finely blends with the abrasive hardcore elements throughout the record. This is undoubtedly a strong and absorbing sophomore effort, for a band that seem to have stylishly found their sound in 2022.

Buy the album here:


8 / 10