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(Speed) RAVEN - Metal City album review

Release date September 18, 2020 (Steamhammer)

A full 46 years since their 1974 formation, Newcastle, England speedsters Raven are back with their 14th full length album. Let's just say this straight up....if you are already a Raven fan, then just go and buy this album. You will not be disappointed as it contains all the usual Raven trademarks that you know and love. Bassist John Gallagher's vocals are as strong and wild as ever. His brother Mark's guitar work is stellar and new drummer Mike Keller bashes the skins faster than the speed of light. And finally, the songs are fast, heavy and catchy, as usual.

Raven were part of the NWOBHM in the early 80s, but have always walked a line between being traditional metal and speed metal. They are not noisy enough to be considered extreme metal, but they are too fast to be considered standard heavy metal. They truly have a sound like no other band.

The album has 9 songs (36 minutes) or 10 songs (39 minutes) depending on the version you get, and only the mid-paced plodder "When Worlds Collide" has the feel of filler. The rest of the album has that urgent attitude that all great Raven songs have.

Highlights are a-plenty, but if you want to check out some of the best ditties, go with "Motorheadin'" which seems to have been inspired by the almighty Lemmy. Another song of note is the sci-fi epic "Cybertron". But really, pretty much any song could be a highlight here: "Break", "Not So Easy", "The Power" and "Top of the Mountain" are all worthy entries into the Raven catalog.

Good to see the old-timers making it look so easy.

(8.5)


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