Legendary Geordies return on new album after five-year gap.

……and they’re back!! That’s right folks, the moment bassist/vocalist John Gallagher screams “destroy all monsters” one of the UK’s finest, but most criminally underrated, bands return to tread the heavy metal path they first trod over 40 years ago.

Seminal metal trio Raven were once part of the NWOBHM scene back in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s with bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon etc. Some bands from that era went on to enjoy highly successful careers, with Priest and Maiden being the most obvious. For others however, the road to stardom was not paved with shiny gold but with hard, dirty and cold metal. Despite the fact that their early 80’s output stands toe to toe with any of the aforementioned bands it is somewhat surprising that they haven’t broken down the doors of larger arenas in which to showcase their considerable talent.

Raven haven’t gone down the re-invention track to enable them to find relevance with a new audience. They are what they were 40 years ago, only better. Kicking the album off with “Destroy All Monsters” is a smart move. It immediately captures the spirit of the band’s heyday without wallowing in nostalgia. It’s a traditional balls-to-the-walls track for which the band are recognised for and a style in which they excel.

With hard-driving tracks like “Tomorrow”, “It’s Not What You Got” and “Scream” providing the attitude and exuberance of a band in their mid-20’s The Diamond Head-infused “One More Day” and the AC/DC inspired “Thunder Down Under” are other highlights on an album riddled with metal gems.

“Fight” is perhaps the most generic and therefore weakest track on the album and it doesn’t do the band any favours or any justice. Thankfully such tracks are very much in the minority as the following tracks “Battle March Tank” and “Feeding The Monster” prove. They are full-on tracks generating their power for swirling riffs and thunderous drum attacks.

They may still be proclaiming, as their debut single stated, they “Don’t Need Your Money” but you should be giving your some of your hard-earned cash to this band as it’s not just the new bands that the music-loving public should be supporting, the past still has a future too.

The band were known, back in the day, for introducing an “athletic” element into their shows, consisting of sporting goods various and although the North East may be going through a slump in sporting terms, Newcastle United and Sunderland I’m referring to you, it’s great to see at least one aspect that region is approaching something akin to their glory days.

Forget subgenre’s this is metal for metalheads…….and damn fine metal it is too.

‘ExtermiNation’ is out now on Steamhammer / SPV and is available as a 14 track CD, a digipak (with bonus track), as a double gatefold green vinyl LP, and download.

Tracklisting
1. Destroy All Monsters
2. Tomorrow
3. It`s Not What You Got
4. Fight
5. Battle March/Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)
6. Feeding The Monster
7. Fire Burns Within
8. Scream
9. 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 track)

 Donnie’s Rating: 8.5/10