Album Releases Album Reviews

RAVEN – ExtermiNation Review


Released: April 27th, 2015

Released By: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Heavy Metal



Line Up:

John Gallagher – bass, vocals

Mark Gallagher – guitars

Joe Hasselvander – drums



1.0 Destroy All Monsters

2.0 Tomorrow

3.0 It`s Not What You Got

4.0 Fight

5.0 Battle March/Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)

6.0 Feeding The Monster

7.0 Fire Burns Within

8.0 Scream

9.0 One More Day

10.0 Thunder Down Under

11.0 No Surrender

12.0 Golden Dawn

13.0 Silver Bullet

14.0 River Of No Return

15.0 Malice In Geordieland


If by the year 2015 you haven’t heard Raven then it is time to question your credentials. Formed in Newcastle-Upon Tyne way back in 1974, the band released a triple whammy of classic albums “Rock Until You Drop”, “Wiped Out” and “All for One” between 1981 and 1983. There are a lot of speed and thrash bands out there that owe a debt to Raven for paving the way. The band have had one line-up change since 1981 which was in 1987 when Joe Hasselvander (Pentagram, Death Row) joined the band, they have never compromised their sound very much, it could be argued that around 86/87 there was a dig at more commercial material, however it didn’t last long and Raven returned to their fundamental sound, namely pounding drums, screaming guitars and head thumping bass all topped off with John Gallagher’s unmistakable voice. This is their 13th studio album and first in 6 years, in the interim they have relentlessly toured and recently hooked up again with old sparring partners Metallica for some mega-dome shows in South America. The new album gets off to storming start with the high paced “Destroy all Monsters” with a solid double kick and catchy riff with the bass blasting behind it. This song contains some great runs with the band sounding tighter than ever; how John gets those high pitched screams nowadays is commendable, many of his peers can only squawk at this stage of the game. “One More Day” highlights Mark Gallagher’s prowess with a tapped intro before a big fat juicy riff comes in for the kill. The album is a mix of these slower mid paced rib crackers and the faster material which is more akin to their earlier material. Hasslevander puts in a sterling performance throughout with his trademark heavy hitting and solid double bass. The production is big and bold with a bucket load of bottom end but more importantly it is full of songs, heavy metal songs – nothing more nothing less. If I was to aim criticism at this record, it would be the length and for some folk that may prove a turnoff and they may not give the songs all a fair chance. Some bands try to over complicate things, Raven don’t – they do what they have always done – delivered a hammer to the face. Go buy and find out what real heavy metal is!

Written by: David McCallum


Ratings: David 8/10

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