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Raven - Rock Until You Drop (Reissue)

Rock Until You Drop (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 28 June 2017, 9:57 PM

One of the prime oddities within in a growing pack of hungry bands of the early age, a forefather that became a pillar for devotion and influence. Enough with the sweet talk, this is the British RAVEN, and I bet that they might not like over flattery. Here we are, the band is running wild for the past four decades, and for now it seems that they aren’t going to stop any time soon. Even so, it is always good to remember the old days and go over the past that made the RAVEN moniker a living icon in Metal.

The band’s debut album, “Rock Until You Drop”, released in 1981 via Neat Records, which by then gathered around NWOBHM artists that became notable, displayed a trio of no more than pure maniacs, bound to break the Rock N’ Roll swing that was a part of the British Metal movement. Dissonance Productions reissued the release along with tracks off singles that were released between 1980 to 1981, stuff that is a fortune for collectors and with great quality. So here we go, going back in time again with the feel that there is nothing better than chopping with the hardest form of NWOBHM.

By an oversight, “Rock Until You Drop” is a bundle of vigor and intensity, a charged tesla waiting for its victim to show up right before the big buzz. It is true that bands like VENOM and SATAN alright attempted to set the tone for a heavier form of Heavy Metal, yet judging by the likes of “Rock Till You Drop”, RAVEN has a distinct tenacity, enthusiastic passion, a sort of craziness, especially vocal wise, that is over the top, firing all cylinders at will and with might. There was a moment there where I thought about the attitude of the RAMONES deep within RAVEN’s image, maybe I am wrong, but it is hard to deny that there is a crust of Punk in the works.

In addition to the band’s signature mania roaming, “Rock Until You Drop” also marked the threshold of Speed Metal, and it is clearly indicated right here. The song list consists of a small variety of fast paced beats, pound for pound mid-tempo nastiness, and impressively delivered hard driven riffing and lead guitar shredding. RAVEN grossly put the pedal to the Metal to the British feel of the late 70s, slowly breeding it to become a giant monster.

The songwriting has that Rock N’ Roll spike nailed to it, rather simple structures, continuing the drive of the movement, and of course, without expecting anything less, amazingly carried out. “Lambs To The Slaughter” laid down the law right from the beginning, the main riff, which has been taking various shapes and form over the years, even IRON MAIDEN had a fair use of part of the formula on the main riff of “2 Minutes To Midnight” for instance, and I am sure that I would be condemned if I won’t mention the ultimate high pitching of John Gallagher’s pipes. “Hard Ride” and “Hell Patrol” are a sealed in stone proto-Speed Metal with a Hard Rock entanglements, hook laden bastards that are heavenly classics. “Over The Top” could have been a part of the growing IRON MAIDEN legacy, notably a slice off “Killers”, a song in the spirit of the Heavy Metal mastery that came to light in that same period of time. “For The Future” shows the prime influence on the Bay Area Metal scene in the US, stinging main riff and a beat that is a mighty headbanger. Even without a melodic chorus, the guitaring did the talking in a manner of greatness. Finally, I have to recommend on the “Wiped Out”, which is a part of the band’s debut single “Don’t Need Your Money”, dating back to 1980. It is possible to note that one as how bands like METALLICA will sound a few years later, playing with a kind of aggression that is a source of addiction. A year after the debut, that song title would become an album title.

“Rock Until You Drop” started rocking the boat with menace, devotedly still preserving the dynamism of the local scene in the spectrum of NWOBHM, but in the same time trying to break away.


4 Star Rating

1. Hard Ride
2. Hell Patrol
3. Don’t Need Your Money
4. Over The Top
5. 39/40
6. For The Future
7. Rock Until You Drop
8. Nobody’s Hero
9. HellRaiser / Action (Sweet Covers)
10. Lambs To The Slaughter
11. Tyrant Of The Airways
12. Wiped Out
13. Inquisitor
14. Crazy World
John Gallagher - Vocals / Bass
Mark Gallagher - Guitars
Rob "Wacko" Hunter - Drums
Record Label: Dissonance Productions


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