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Articles Home » 2015 Articles » Raven - 2015 ExtermiNation
Raven - 2015 ExtermiNation

ALBUM: ExtermiNation
YEAR: 2015


LINEUP: John Gallagher - vocals, bass * Mark Gallagher- guitar * Joe Hasselvander- drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dewtroy All Monsters * 02 Tomorrow * 03 It's Not What You Got * 04 Fight * 05 Battle March/Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red) * 06 Feeding The Monster * 07 Fire Burns Within * 08 Scream * 09 One More Day * 10 Thunder Down Under * 11 No Surrender * 12 Golden Dawn * 13 Silver Bullet * 14 River Of No Return * 15 Malice In Geordieland (bonus)



New studio releases from Raven these days are as rare as something from Boston or Metallica, with six years having passed since the very ordinary 'Walk Through Fire'. In fact this is just the fourth studio album from Raven since 1997, making this more of a miracle than you'd think. This hasn't stopped the band from retaining their roguish charms and trademark wildman persona so expertly crafted over the past four decades though. The Gallagher brothers have always seemed far more down to earth and amiable than many of their one time contemporaries and the result is an album which is better than the last two anyway. With 15 tracks it's a matter of overkill however and like so many albums these days it would've sufficed with 10 at the least. Maybe the lads are looking to make up for lost time, of which there seems to have been an abundance of in the last 15 years or so.

The Songs
'Intro/Destroy All Monsters' is in the best 'Nothing Exceeds Like Excess' traditions, fast and over the top, suggesting 1988 was just last year. This is the kind of sound Raven have always excelled at and it's a shame the whole album doesn't follow suit. 'Fight' does however and it's stunning just how faithful Raven are to their original sound. Call me deaf, but they still did even in the 80's when they went 'American'. The heaviness of 'Feeding The Monster' is impossible to deny, with some of the bands sharpest riffs in a while, John Gallagher as frenetic as always. Some of the slower tracks like 'Fire Burns Within' and the build-up in 'Battle March/Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)' are a bit of a slog, but such songs are rare here, with the emphasis clearly on speed, one of vintage Raven's main assets. Another highlight is the Bon Scott tribute 'Thunder Down Under' and its lyrics regarding Bon being 'a force of nature' and 'a rock and roller through and through'. The riffs have an obvious AC/DC slant, putting this on the verge of 'must hear'. Raven excel at these types of tracks, for a good comparison check out their equally classic Elvis ode 'The King' from 1988. It's hard to say there are any bad songs here, despite the amount of them and this is a very inspired recording from a band who continue to be undervalued to this day. There's no way you'll hear Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Saxon cracking out riffs like this now.

In Summary
This has been gaining positive reviews and all are fully earned. For a while it seemed like Raven had an identity crisis of some sort, but they've certainly found the cure if that was the case. This is fast, heavy and suitably untamed, which is what any Raven fan could ask for. Really, does anything else need to be said

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