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Ravager – The Third Attack Award winner

The Third Attack
by Andrew Graham at 17 August 2021, 4:56 PM

There’s some irresistible pull about thrash metal. No matter where your musical exploration takes you, somehow you always end up back there. It’s the avenue through which so many of us are introduced to metal’s heavier offerings, or indeed to metal in general. In many ways listening to thrash feels like coming home. German thrashers RAVAGER have unleashed their third full-length outing onto the metal world and does this ever feel like a fun, nostalgic romp!

Opening instrumental track “Intruders” shows us just what this band can do. Full speed ahead is the order of the day here! No quarter is given or expected from this aural assault. Lightning speed crunchy guitar riffs, pumping drums at the heart of affairs, and the distant but discernible rumble of bass. It’s a sort of compilation checklist of all the features that make thrash great, setting high hopes for “Planet Hate” which does not disappoint. The listener knows immediately that these guys know their craft and know it well. The listener is never in any doubt as to how much fun these guys are having. See track three, “Back To The Real World”, for evidence aplenty! Lyrically this is about rocking out, drinking beer, moshing – every thrash band to have ever existed seems to have their own fun take on the metal concert!

“Priest Of Torment” is a shocking examination of child abuse… I think that’s enough said really! With a genuinely threatening series of riffs and fade-out solo, this one’s a real album high point! “A Plague Is Born” discusses the fragility of humanity and civilization in the face of disease (perhaps a little bit too relatable given present circumstance! Again, riffs that generate a palpable sense of threat enhance the lyrical material on display. “The Third Attack” is something of a palate cleanser lyrically, something a little light-hearted compared to what came before. It is, however, no less crushing and relentless in its musical delivery. Like a musical study in thrash, the hallmarks are all represented to the absolute height of competency – it rocks one’s socks off!

“Beyond Reality” opens with a hint of dissonance and a slower pace at first. The slower tempo lets the guys show off just how much is going on riff-wise – it’s so easy to lose the technicality and subtleties of playing at such hypersonic speeds so it’s nice that they slow down for a moment and show us just how thoughtful this music really is. For “My Own Worst Enemy” the band really dial the tempo up to eleven, showing moments of speed that would be familiar to fans of thrashers like EVILE. It also displays the range of influences. It’s thrash, obviously, but it’s also kind of crossover in places. If you love acts such as MUNICIPAL WASTE or GAMA BOMB, then you will feel right at home! “King Of Kings” continues very much in this vein. There’s less seriousness here and more of the romping good clowning around (very metal clowning around, mind!) that we saw on tracks like “Back To The Real World”.

The album closes with “Destroyer”, an eight-minute epic in which the band really shows off some depth and creativity. The guys are really stretched to their limits: lightning-fast and surgically precise riffage, blastbeats, and an absolutely delicious solo to boot. Marty Friedman would be proud! It’s no proggy thrash-fest a-la …And Justice For All but it’s a bloody triumph! A deeply satisfying conclusion to a brilliant piece of thrash violence. Everything about this album is near-perfect, and the mix is so good one can clearly and distinctly separate out each individual instrument and the vocals sail clearly through the glorious cacophony. Any thrash enthusiast would be proud to include The Third Attack in their collection!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Intruders
2. Planet Hate
3. Back To The Real World
4. Priest Of Torment
5. A Plague Is Born
6. The Third Attack
7. Beyond Reality
8. My Own Worst Enemy
9. King Of Kings
10. Destroyer
Philip Herbst – Vocals
Marcel Lehr – Guitar
Dario Rosenberg – Guitar
Justus Mahler - Bass
André Sawade – Drums
Record Label: Iron Shield Records


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Edited 24 March 2023

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