This week’s Past Demons feature is NWOBHM pioneers Raven. The self-described inventors of “athletic rock” crashed the metal music scene in 1981 with Rock Until You Drop, a frenetic, original, energetic album. I didn’t come across Raven until their 1983 release, the all-time metal classic, All For One, the same year metal music was essentially defined for me by recordings like Kill ‘Em All, Into Glory Ride, Melissa, Crystal Logic, and Show No Mercy. The Gallagher brothers along with Rob “Wacko” Hunter were a fun, crazy, hyper group that really grabbed my teenage attention, making me a “Raven Lunatic.” Post All For One, the band tried quite unsuccessfully to go a commercial route, creating a couple of significantly disappointing albums in Stay Hard and The Pack is Back. In fact, due to those two releases, I didn’t listen to anything new by the band for years. Fortunately they righted their ship and have released at least half a dozen decent albums since their “experiment.” Raven’s 2009 release, Walk Through Fire, is a really good album, though nothing has touched the glory days of the NWOBHM sound. All For One was definitely the album that drew me to the band and to this day is still one that I enjoy – not bad for an almost 30 year-old metal album. Songs like Sledgehammer Rock, Take Control, Break the Chain, and Hung, Drawn & Quartered were headbangers that scream Raven. The one song that has always really done it for me, however, is Mind Over Metal. Terrific riffs, wailing vocals, and a metal attitude make this one crushing song. Enjoy!
I hear the sound in a METAL way.