Back in October last year we were given a glimpse of the future according to The Unkindness of Ravens, and it was pretty bleak; a future of primal instincts, desolate industrial landscapes and 28 Days Later style chaos. The double A-side 'Viper/Virus' was a warning of things to come from this London/Berlin based duo, and now, over six months later, the inevitable outbreak is upon is in the form of the much anticipated debut album simply entitled Virus. You'll be hard pressed to find a more appropriate name as you don't so much listen to The Unkindness of Ravens as have their sound inflicted upon you.

From the opening moments the blueprint is laid down for the next 35 minutes; each track an unrelenting mesh of electro-grunge and sounding like a punkier version of Portishead's 'Machine Gun'. Their sound revolves around Ben Raine's heart pounding bass drones and Nina's Wagner's seductively dark vocals, delivered like Karen-O caught up in a slasher flick. Minimal warehouse style drum machines complete a formula that is maintained throughout, unfortunately leaving the possibilities pretty limited.

'Virus' with its splintering beat and breathless yet somehow mechanical vocals, and the sirens of 'Prototype' underpinning the announcement "She leaves today, don't let her get away" conjure up images of dystopian science fiction, the listener as the innocent fugitive and The Ravens our malevolent captors. This cinematic quality persists throughout an album that owes as much to Blade Runner as it does to Nine Inch Nails, but while the dirty distorted bass lines chase you over a vividly dark sonic terrain, by the end of 'Prototype' it seems unclear how much further the band can go and you get a little bored of running.

The second half of the album eases up a bit to uncover a slightly more sympathetic side, especially with 'Das Gift' and 'Yours Forever But Not To Hold' where Wagner's vocals show a touch more humanity, but these tracks lack attitude and fall a bit flat. The Ravens are at their best when producing bloody futuristic grunge, as in 'Viper' and 'Last Call For The River' and as such the album loses momentum.