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Raven - Live At The Inferno (Reissue) Award winner

Live At The Inferno (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 02 July 2017, 10:32 PM

The road to hell is filled with good intentions. It was probably the first time that I heard of a sort of a political move by a band against its own European label, controversial or not, still interesting. With the band’s popularity rising, also with extensive touring in the US with soon to be icons as METALLICA and ANTHRAX, the British RAVEN were set on releasing a greatest hits album before their label Neat Records could do that. Therefore, it was decided on a live setlist that were recorded while the band’s American tour between 1983 and 1984. RAVEN pushed forward the deal was sealed with the birth of “Live At The Inferno” (also an early song title of the sophomore album “Wiped Out”). Whether it was actually to demoralize or daunt Neat Records, only the band and history could tell the full story, from my point of view, it was a bold move. Anyhow, Dissonance Productions took it upon themselves to commemorate this live action by yet another reissue for the books and the heritage of Metal’s development.

Not exactly a feeling of the belly of the beast, but I was proved once again why RAVEN were, and in their special way nowadays still are, one of the chief leaders of NWOBHM. Over the period of RAVEN’s first three albums, the limits of British Metal were obliterated in order to give way to the surging art of relentless speed, destructive heavy riffing and passionate fronting that was straight off the loony bin. Nonetheless, even with the appreciation of the studio albums, the live experience conveyed within “Live At The Inferno” was the only ground to actually witness and take part in a Heavy Metal bash of the meanest of kind. Such insanity is hard to overcome, and it is difficult to truly value the mayhem that took hold of the fans that were blessed by attending to each of the shows that this trio of maniacs hosted in that period of time, but I will try my best.

Similar to the driving force in the studio, RAVEN were more than mere contenders to the crown. On the other hand, it appeared that when going on stage, the monstrosity gets even more dangerous and foreboding. It started with a blaze of glory, reaching a point where hell was right there on those stages, burning fire everywhere, threatening to eat everyone alive in the heat. RAVEN crashed the scene with tracks from their newest release, with “Mind Over Metal” and “All For One” leading the charge, showing the emerging metallic force that became a prime directive for the younger generation of Thrash Metal. There were a very few signs of weakness that came to be in the image of songs that weren’t a part of the three releases, yet the showmanship and musical expertise of the trio, made those closer to the gold. Earlier undying barrages as “Star Wars”, “Wiped Out” and “Fire Power” nuked the place up with utter heavy riffing and loony high pitched vocals that sliced my ears. However, the piece la resistance was the perfect medley of “Tyrant Of The Airways / Run Silent Run Deep” and the clinching spike of “Live At The Inferno”. I couldn’t ask for more really. The former has everything in British Metal, whether the melodies, tantalizing soloing, hard edge vocals and an atmosphere that is surreal. The latter is the proper way to end a show, rough and cutting to the bone. Simply put.

“Live At The Inferno” had moments where my jaw almost broke, like the high pitched scream on “Hell Patrol” for instance, damn that was… hard to put into words. It was a last token of greatness before a surrender to the dire mainstream and the big bosses of major labels. If there is one thing that Metal fans should remember about RAVEN, even though they had several good runs over the years after 1984, is this particular live performance.


4 Star Rating

1. Intro / Live At The Inferno
2. Take Control
3. Mind Over Metal
4. Crash Bang Wallop
5. Rock Until You Drop
6. Faster Than The Speed Of Light
7. All For One
8. Forbidden Planet
9. Star Wars
10. Tyrant Of The Airways / Run Silent Run Deep
11. Crazy World
12. I.G.A.R.B.O.
13. Wiped Out
14. Fire Power
15. I Don’t Need Your Money
16. Break The Chain
17. Hell Patrol
18. Live At The Inferno
John Gallagher - Vocals / Bass
Mark Gallagher - Guitars
Rob "Wacko" Hunter - Drums
Record Label: Dissonance Productions


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