Friday, April 10, 2015

Album Review: "ExtermiNation" by Raven

What I love about music is how it creates a snapshot in time for me.

When I saw that I had a Raven promo in my email for review, my mind immediately went to Metallica in 1982 or 1983...

Raven was the headlining act that Metallica opened for on their very first tour supporting Kill'Em All. I think a lot of people have forgotten that over the many years hence.

I have not always been the biggest fan of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), but that's just because honestly I wasn't t here. 

I certainly enjoyed Venom and Iron Maiden. It's hard to say if the latter still considers themselves members of NWOBHM though....

As for Raven, let's move onto their latter days and not their salad days...

As someone who's never  heard Raven's music, only their name, before...this was fun.

The drummer, though heavy and driven, plays bouncy galloping beats that keep the songs fresh, forward, and fun.

Vocally this album is all over the place. From the high pitched screams the Americans who became thrash could never quite imitate, to full out shouting, and even some honest to bob singing.

The guitars have that sound. You know that sound. The sound that everybody, who's not metal, thinks of as the heaviest of heavy metal guitars. 

That limb ripping chainsaw sound. 

Single note lines give way to booming chords which give way to superbly played melodic fills which give way to, sometimes, beautiful guitar solos.

Raven, 41 years later, has not stopped making that New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound and it's clear where bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax drew their inspiration.

Fun, heavy, and it feels good to listen to.

Release: 4/27/15
Label: Steamhammer/SPV

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