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Ravenous – Hubris Award winner

Ravenous
Hubris
by Andrew Graham at 23 December 2021, 12:18 AM

Canadian dynamo RAVENOUS (or RAVENOUS E.H.) unveil their second full-length album to an audience hungry for some good ol’ fashioned Power Metal. Ordinarily this isn’t a genre I choose to consume, but oh boy is this a worthwhile outing in history and fantasy-inspired bombastic silliness! Not to be taken too seriously and a whole heap of fun, any respectable metalhead would be remiss not to include this release in their collection.

“Carnage In Carthage” opens the proceedings with epic, flowery, and ever-so-slightly over the top, historical commentary, the stuff of which great Power Metal is made of. With an orchestral introduction and bombastic guitars and drums that tell the listener exactly what to expect. Indeed the following tracks, “Astral Elixir” and “Son Of Storms” cement this sound: machine-gun drums, smoking shredding and killer solos that play wonderfully to Voltaire’s almost operatic vocals.

“Die 1000 Deaths” feels almost like it could have been written by CHILDREN OF BODOM; all the fury, breakneck speed and ferocity is there on glorious display. Bombastic to the very end, with distressed strings ringing out the final sounds. “Bridgeburner” pulls out all the stocks and deploys all reserves, the mid-section dominated by acoustic guitars and strings overlaying heartfelt vocals and awesome lyrics. This is definitely one of the high moments of the album! “The Alder Queen” is a short and sweet anthem pertaining to the parental desire to keep their children safe (as a parent this is thoroughly relatable). Sometimes the sheer heroism of keeping tiny human beings alive through your own sheer willpower doesn’t get the fanfare it deserves, but here it is in three minutes and sixteen seconds!

“March Of Hunger” is a great vessel for Voltaire to show off his vocal range and how far he can push things, turns out it’s quite far! Climbing to dizzying heights before dropping off to low bass-rumbles, he certainly has trained his voice well (it is to be hoped that he looks after it too!) “Claw Is The Law” (featuring Pirate Metallers THE DREAD CREW OF ODDWOOD) is exactly what you’d expect from such a collaboration: glorious, yarr-harr pomposity! Again, Pirate Metal is not a style that I am naturally drawn to but, dammit, this is just too much fun and too well done to simply ignore!

“Onwards And Upwards” is a power ballad layered with strings, piano, and other orchestral instruments. Positively uplifting and motivational, it does all the things that you would expect a good ballad in this genre to do. Yes, I will tackle that gigantic pile of unwashed laundry stinking up my kitchen! Album finale “…Of Beasts And Faust” opens with all the trappings of a true epic (which, at over ten minutes, it is certainly set up to be – no pressure!) It certainly delivers on this expectation, with all ten minutes filled to the brim with pomp and excitement.

Included in this is a Japanese version of “Die 1000 Deaths”. Something about the Japanese language simply pairs perfectly with the Power Metal aesthetic – must be that Samurai heritage! Not only is this a fantastic Power Metal album, but a thoroughly outstanding metal album, period. There are colourful solos, tight drumming and all the atmosphere and layers one would want from the very best this genre has to offer. A genuine triumph, with hopefully more output of this quality to follow from these Canadian heavyweights.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Carnage In Carthage
2. Astral Elixir
3. Son Of Storms
4. Die 1000 Deaths
5. Bridgeburner
6. The Alder Queen
7. March Of Hunger
8. Claw Is The Law
9. Onwards & Upwards
10. …Of Beasts And Faust
11. Die 1000 Deaths (Japanese version)
Lineup:
R.A. Voltaire – Vocals
Jake Wright – Guitar
Valax – Bass
Dave Crnković – Drums
Record Label: Feast Beast Records
     


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