Raven – ExtermiNation

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Raven – ExtermiNation CD (Steamhammer/SPV)
Lumped in with the NWOBHM and scrapping around the edges of thrash metal territory, these Geordie lads never had an easy ride. The name is well known, and this new record is greatly anticipated by many… so does ‘ExtermiNation’ deliver? Well to my humble opinion, it is easily the best album this trio has recorded to date. Incorporating the sounds of past releases and revamping them in a shroud of trad-metal wistfulness it’s a powerful platter of heavy metal these guys have created. The weighty riff of ‘Destroy All Monsters’ opens the proceedings in a fine way with the speedily paced ‘Fight’ dipping it’s toes in the thrash of the past. Raven are most definitely dishing it out without a care. The main noticeable fact here is how John Gallagher’s vocals have strengthened immensely, keeping the high pitch where necessary, but severely improving the overall deliverance. There is enough old-school Raven feel for the diehards, but the newer sound has ironed out the ‘irritation’ that may of put people off back-in-the-day. It’s with the AC/DC inspired lyrics of ‘Thunder Down Under’ Raven pay a fitting salute to one of the luminaries of old, and with ‘Malice In Geordieland’ the crew show a novelty facture within the camp, paying homage to their beloved home town. Now that is a great thing to say about a reformed band still putting out new songs, so if you missed them before, or were half way swayed for whatever reason, ‘ExtermiNation’ is the Raven record to check out. Mark Freebase

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