By Sgt Deth

They are back after about five years, and it was worth the wait for this gem. This is one of their most energetic and heavy releases ever, and in my opinion, the best Raven release since the early ‘90s. John Gallagher’s vocals are as catchy as back in the old days, and even seems fresh and young at times. It is amazing someone as old as me (and I am pretty ancient compared to most metal stars nowadays) can keep it sounding as good, or better than any of the newer metal bands in the scene. I guess they have aged like fine wine and have kept up with practicing their art all these years. Sometimes experience trumps youth and vigor. And there is no lack of vigor on this CD.

Not only are John Gallagher’s vocals catchy, there are many catchy riffs and drum beats here. Just like any metal band that we have worshipped in the past, nothing sticks in our mind like a catchy riff or drum beat, or a combination of both. I can think of at least one song from all their previous albums that I still remember the riffs and lyrics, even though I have not listened to them for a long time. Old songs like “Mind Over Metal”, “All For One”, “Stay Hard’, and “Hard as Nails” all have that true metal sound mixed with some craziness and with a smattering of old school rock n roll. This new album reminds me so much of those old school days, but it still has some fresh sounding material.

This trio has not changed their ways after all these years. You can just hear the fun in all 15 songs on this CD. At times, they are just maniacal. I wonder if original drummer, Joe Hasselvander still tears his drum set apart when playing live. Somehow, after hearing this new release and its aggressive sound, I would not doubt it. In fact, I must mention they still have all three original members, something that seems more and more rare when ‘80s metal bands make comebacks.

These guys deserve praise for continuing on their metal journey and producing such a modern sounding, yet true metal album. Also, the mixing and mastering of this is also almost perfect. Almost sounds like the three piece is right in my living room at times. Songs like “Fight” really punch hard. He says, “I’m gonna fight for what is right, take my place in history”, and “With everything that I got, I’m gonna rip myself up and tear you down”. Now if that isn’t pure Raven fashion, I don’t know what is. All true metal fans go out and grab your copy now.