Heavy Metal/Speed Metal/NWOBHM
FFO: Riot V, Anvil, Diamond Head, Tank, Exciter, Saxon, Grim Reaper
In a world with any justice, Raven would be spoke about in the same reverence as Diamond Head and Motörhead… if only Metallica had covered them! Yet, for those in the know, Raven’s brand of self-styled ‘athletic rock’ helped bridge the gap between heavy metal, speed metal and what would ultimately become thrash metal. In the last decade, Raven have finally attempted to reclaim the crown of the early 80’s with two excellent albums ‘Walk Through Fire’ and ‘ExtermiNation’ with the band taking on 2020 with their latest offering ‘Metal City’.
With ‘Metal City’, Raven do not knock upon the gates as much as smash them down with a battering ram made of pure heavy metal. The band have shifted into top gear, light up the amp stacks and turn the clock back to 1981 whilst leave nothing but ashes in their wake. Yet, ‘Metal City’ is far from a nostalgia trip, as with the previous two albums, Raven stake their claim with a large contemporary cleaver with a modern production that brings a NWOBHM sound kicking and screaming into the 21st century and age has not tarnished the Gallagher brothers. John and Mark Gallagher are superb as always, in fact, the latter hasn’t sounded this fresh and exciting on guitar since ‘Wiped Out’, but it is the arrival of Mike Heller onto the drum stool which drives the brothers forward. Heller might be more famous for his roles in Fear Factory and Control/Resist as well as Gorepunch and Disembowel, but his drumming suits Raven to the core. This drumming really drives ‘Metal City’ forward with some blast beats that really give this band a new dimension to tracks such as ‘Break’, ‘The Power’ and ‘Motorheadin’’, whilst ‘Top of the Mountain’ and the title track are amongst some of the best work Raven have done in the last 20 years.
‘Metal City’ is Raven returning and doing what Raven do best. It is an excellent album that once again shows that a NWOBHM band can rock up and show everybody just how it’s done. Why aye lads!