Utopia // Shame // Album Review


Now features a fixed lineup, composed of John Bailey on guitars, Chris Reese (Corrupt Moral Alter) on vocals, Arran McSporran (Virvum/Vipassi) on fretless bass and new addition Jay Walsh on drums and a second guitarist in Jimmy Wilson.

With the follow-up to the 2021 album Stalker, Utopia now looks to build on that success, whilst retaining instrumental complexities but having a more cohesive sound. By using mental health and philosophy as the basis for the lyrics, John Bailey said “The complexities are matched with the music and the intensity of how I feel about the world and my place in it.”

Clocking in at 10 tracks spanning 34 minutes, this album is going to blow your mind. I have heard several albums that make this claim, however, few live up to the hype. This does.

The transition between sounds, styles, pace and feeling is instantaneous and continuous – for one second you feel as if you floating on a wave and then the plug is pulled and you are hurtling down the drain bouncing off the sides, being flipped upside down and round and round repeatedly. Not quite sure what way is up and feeling like your head has been put in a blender, Shame unashamedly batters the grey matter from play to end.

Never quite sure whether to duck, jump or just say fuck it and get smashed from the pillar post – the head fuck you feel is matched by the incredible skill of composing such a testing and unstable structure into something that sounds so incredible. Very rarely do we get to hear that matches the randomness of the human brain, especially for us overthinkers.

The fact that one minute I can be relaxed and the next being twatted by a combination of Experimental Metal, Djent, and hints of Grind plus whatever the fuck else is thrown into this cement mixer of a sound and the result is astonishing.

What Utopia have managed to create is truly incredible and something that certainly is not for the masses but those who are into their minds being torn wide open will lap this up. I certainly have – it’s bloody brilliant.

For those that fancy a bit of a testing ride and aren’t quite sure whether they can handle it or it’s their kind of thing, there’s only one way to find out – strap in, get that helmet on and enjoy this mindfuck of a ride.


Review: Ed Ford


Utopia will be released on Friday 2nd February 2024.

 Pre-order the album – https://utopiabandmetal.bandcamp.com/album/shame




  1. Machiavelli
  2. Shame
  3. Waking Visions
  4. Sun Damage
  5. Zither
  6. Never Argue With An Idiot
  7. Never Argue With An Idiot
  8. Social Contracts
  9. The Gift Of Failure
  10. Moving Gently Toward The Grave