The Raven Age, if you look back through the annals of this website, have toured with everyone in the six years or so since they released their debut album. They’ve played in arenas, clubs, and doubtless stadiums on their tours with Eddie and the boys. But they’ve always felt like their own men. Here, for the traditional make-or-break affair of their third album, they’re once again working with star producer Matt Hyde and the talented woman behind Coldplay’s strings. This album matters. This album needs to make an impact.
There’s been another lineup change as Tommy Gentry has joined from Gun, and his guitar work perfectly complements that of George Harris (I should look up what his dad does for a job…).
“Blood Omen” is a captivating album that showcases the band’s growth and musical prowess. From the moment “Changing Of The Guard” kicks in, there’s a profound sense of gravitas reminiscent of the Game of Thrones theme. The track sets the stage for what’s to come.
“Parasite” follows suit, offering a modern take on classic metal. Matt James’ powerful vocals and the impactful line, “There is no salvation in dying alone,” leave a lasting impression. “Serpents Tongue” further exemplifies the band’s strength, featuring muscular instrumentation and cleverly executed harsh vocals.
In “Essence Of Time,” The Raven Age effortlessly crafts an epic-sounding piece, showcasing their ability to create grand and captivating compositions. The album continues to impress with “Nostradamus,” a track packed with big hooks that are ready to ignite any arena.
“Forgive And Forget” carries an underlying anger in its lyrics, but it’s the skillful harmonies and well-executed solos that truly shine. There’s even a touch of bands like Symphony X in the mix.
“The Journey” lives up to its name, exhibiting a maturity that suggests The Raven Age is still evolving. This sense of growth permeates “War In Heaven” as well, with its expansive and almost progressive metal sound. The band truly sets themselves apart from their peers in this regard.
To conclude the album, “Tears Of Stone” offers a six-and-a-half-minute epic experience with its galloping rhythm and captivating melodies. It serves as a fitting conclusion to the musical journey.
It’s rare to find a band that effortlessly blends the modern metal sound with classic flavors. It’s even rarer to find a young (ish) metal band that appeals to listeners of a certain age.
For three albums now, The Raven Age has consistently shown their class. Even considering that, “Blood Omen” is undoubtedly a step up.