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Ravage - The End Of Tomorrow (CD)

Ravage
The End Of Tomorrow
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 31 August 2009, 6:04 PM

It is really hard to believe that this band from Massachusetts of the US has been around since the mid 90s and The End Of Tomorrow is just their second full length album. One excuse could be the enough lineup changes but in the end the period is way too long to just have only two albums. Nevertheless, they must have a reason for this and it is not the subject for this review. We are here, to talk about RAVAGE's musical whereabouts that seem to be quite interesting. First of all, the band deserves some credit for playing classic Heavy Metal with some Thrash additions when the US Metal scene has the Metalcore releases in the daily agenda without leaving a lot of space for the rest. Actually, RAVAGE say, that the formation of the band had the ultimate goal to overcome all the far-fetched fuss created around the Grunge scene back in the early 90s. As it seems the band started with the best of the intentions so let us see if they have come closer to their goal despite the fact that the Grunge scene is already a dead meat.
The first I noticed as The Halls Of Madness after the short intro was the album has an impressive production. The guitar duo sounds amazing revealing all the classic influences that span from IRON MAIDEN (early of course), go through JUDAS PRIEST and reach to early days of Thrash. This song is fast balancing between Heavy and Thrash Metal without sounding way too vintage. I personally enjoyed the lurking LIEGE LORD influences from their latest Master Control era. The album progresses in the same vein as the opener 'betting all their money' to the guitar dual harmonies and the very good high pitched vocals by Al Ravage who is also responsible for the lyrical content of the album. As far as the rhythm section is concerned, I have the feeling that it sounds kind of 'plastic' loosing some of the old-school atmosphere that cover almost everything in RAVAGE's music. But, this is the price you have to pay when you have that good production; you simply lose some of the rawness we loved from those days. In the end this is strictly a matter of personal taste so, let's focus on the music itself. Speed is the main issue in the killer groove of Damn Nation that brings along some quality headbanging time while The Shredder made look over ANNIHILATOR's debut Alice In Hell. This retro thinking was not only due to the fast-as-hell riffs but also due to Al Ravage high octave and harsh vocals that has many similarities to Randy Rampage's voice from that days. The best moment of the album is the The Nightmare's Hold two parts that have in between the very good cover on JUDAS PRIEST's Nightcrawler. Even though the cover is nothing more than the performance of the original version (OK, there are no keyboards) it sound very good as the transition from the first part of The Nightmare's Hold to the second without in-between pauses.
RAVAGE seemed to have worked many hours in the studio and managed to create a very good album that breathes high musicianship and skill. The only downside on this album is the flat feeling I had during all the listening sessions. The album misses the couple of songs that could capture the listener's interest and make him hit the 'play' button several times more. It would gain additional points at my personal rating if I could spot the hit song every album requires. Nevertheless, since it is their second album we can afford some weak points until their next step that hopefully will happen sooner than the second…
PS: Yep, the cover artwork was made by Ed Repka.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
The Halls Of Madness
Reign Fall
Freedom Fighter   
Damn Nation
The Shredder
Into The Shackles
In Shattered Dreams
The Nightmare's Hold: Part 1
The Nightcrawler (JUDAS PRIEST cover)
The Nightmare's Hold: Part 2
Grapes Of Wrath
The End Of Tomorrow
Lineup:
Al Ravage - Vocals
Eli Firicano - Guitars
Nicholas Izzo - Guitars
Howie Snow - Bass
GTB - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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