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Raven - Walk Through Fire (CD)

Walk Through Fire
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 07 October 2009, 12:10 AM

"What, a new RAVEN album in 2009?" I bet this thought will cross everyone's mind who is familiar to this crazy NWOBHM act that made quite an impact in the Metal scene with "Rock Until You Drop", released in 1981 with an historical picture in the cover. "Walk Through Fire" is RAVEN's new album that sees the light of day under the distribution of the Japan-based label King Records. As strange it may sound the British act has found a Japanese label to distribute the new album that will be available to Europe and America as an import. Seasons change, you may say, but we are talking about RAVEN, a band who helped defining the NWOBHM term on our consciousness. In my mind I have placed RAVEN next to ANVIL. The UK band is based on the strong bondage of the Gallagher brothers while the Canadian Rockers also comprise two soul mates Reiner and Lips. And this is not the only similarity; both bands had a rough time with the record labels but did not give in and after almost three decades they are still with us!

The history lessons are always good but, in the end of the day, music is that matters the most, so let see what RAVEN has to offer to us and if they meet the standards they have placed with their 'athletic Rock'. After the short intro, Against The Grain enters with a massive sound and accelerates into a classic RAVEN track. John Gallagher shows that he still has his crazy high-pitched screams found everywhere. The guitars breath the killer NWOBHM sound while the steady drumming tops off this impressive album opener. There is absolutely no space to doubt RAVEN. The songs are fast, the singing is crazy and the tempo is high as it should in the RAVEN way. The sound is fresh and modern without losing the connection with the early RAVEN works and it would not be a heresy to say that the British act managed to create an album that can stand beside the legendary first three albums without blushing in shame. Just listen to the killer guitar riff that opens the fast "Under Your Radar" until John's scream states in its grandeur that RAVEN are still with us in full force. "Bulldozer" comes with a staccato almost PANTERA-esque groove (yes, you read correctly) that adds more heaviness while the mod-lifting "Running Around In Circles" invites you to sing along the chorus lines. "Armageddon", besides the addictive groove and some electronic sounds, features some impressive leads and a solo that reaches a heart climax near the end proving that Mark can still do amazing things with his guitar. The album closes with RAVEN's approach on MONTROSE's "Space Station #5" that sounds really wacko with John's ultra high pitched screams making this cover version even better than IRON MAIDEN's one.

I am sure that the quality of this album will make several distribution labels reconsider their choice not to sign RAVEN. "Walk Through Fire" may mark the beginning of a second era for this powerful trio that is capable to get back what the history did not give them during the past decades. Invest your money with your eyes closed since it is official: the Pack Is Back!

4 Star Rating

  1. Intro
  2. Against The Grain
  3. Breaking You Down
  4. Under Your Radar
  5. Walk Through Fire
  6. Bulldozer
  7. Long Day's Journey
  8. Trainwreck
  9. Grip
  10. Running Around In Circles
  11. Hard Road
  12. Armageddon
  13. Attitude
  14. Necessary Evil (Japan-only bonus track)
  15. Space Station #5
John Gallagher - Vocals, Bass
Mark Gallagher - Guitars
Joe Hasselvander - Drums
Record Label: King Records


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Edited 05 December 2022

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