Review | Raven – All Hell’s Breaking Loose
Silver Lining Music
Every once in a while, (read: “week”) I have to soak the brain with some classic metal soap. “Soap” as it is almost humiliating to admit to my craving for tacky heavy nicnacs provided preferably by the bands that influenced and crafted my taste in the 80s. They are still there, their numbers decreasing. One of those guilty pleasures is English NWOBHM crusaders Raven. The trio around the Gallagher brothers keeps pumping out typical eighties metal crushers, but recently got shot up an adrenaline surge with the addition of Mike Heller [Malignancy, Fear Factory] on drums. The result is an album that will raise fists and has hell breaking loose once again.
LOVE OR HATE IT
Heller adds to the frantic potion Raven has been serving up over the 4 decades of their existence. His ponder and relentless frenzy is perfect breeding ground for Mark Gallagher’s wild and furious guitar exercises. Feeding his frenzy, Mark delves into hard and heavy riffs with classic overhaul and scorches with his over-the-top soloing, while his brother John plucks his bass to fill the low end of this metal massacre. His voice still as wacky and over-the-board as in his `Wiped Out’ days, he is the love it or hate it frontman injecting low growls and piercing screams to the plate, making the music as recognizable as it is hated. Damn, I love this band, and I will always do.
`All Hell’s Breaking Loose’ brings more of the same, yet the discharge of Heller is injecting a second life regeneration of the classics. The songs are still hook laden and furious, bordering with thrash and speed metal. Anxiety sprouting and cataclysmic with all the tacky and wacky illness enclosed. Drawing from all clichés of the entire heavy metal catalogue of our beloved genre, Raven dives head first into ,,Medieval” with tremendous and fierce fury. Cheesy is its title, merrier its musical delivery. Fun!
METHOD OF DESTRUCTION
,,Surf the Tsunami” sees Heller pull from the `Painkiller’ registers with Mark laying down a Maiden-esque riff and hook for John to ‘sing’ over with Saxon reminiscent melody and scat. From this song onwards, the album rolls onto us like a freakin’ freight train on its way to a f*ck. Relentless in its pace, broiling with riffs and melodies, piercing solos and the frenetic vocals of high-octane vocals of John. It is all there in abundance, stomping you from ,,Turn on the Screws” into the title track and pushing you to the edge on the memorable ,,The Far Side”, the double bass fired ,,Desperate Measures” and ,,Victory’s Call” without tipping over.
Raven’s proven method of destruction continues on the great siren-opened ,,Edge of a Nightmare” with its rhythmic dynamics and classic NWOBHM strum [and tacky choir], to hit the bricks on the melodic fused ,,Invasion” before hitting the wall with the blistering ,,Go for the Gold”.
RAVEN – THE CONCLUSION
Raven delivers again. `All Hell’s Breaking Loose’ is packed with anger laden and cranky high paced metal. It is chockful of memorable hooks and riffs, scruffy shrugging riffs and wonderful guitar exercises to set the venue ablaze. The heavy turmoil Heller adds to the insanity is simply astounding, and Mark certainly sounds like he always did. For some that might be the problem, for most it is the beacon in turbulent musical times.
All Hail the RAVEN!
Release date: 30 June 2023