Metal City

Raven are a heavy metal band from the UK, formed in 1974 by the Gallagher brothers John and Mark. The bands first three albums 'Rock Until You Drop' (1981), 'Wiped Out' (1982) and 'All For One' (1983) are quintessential listening, and pivotal in the evolution of the burgeoning NWOBHM movement. Bands such as Angel Witch, Saxon, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden were all at the forefront of the NWOBHM along with Raven, and all these bands are still performing today! Raven released ten more studio albums during the thirty years between 1985 and 2015, with their 2019 live album 'Screaming Murder Death From Above: Live In Aalborg' showcasing Raven at their devastating best, delivering a captivating one hour of "foot on the monitor" style, traditional heavy metal.    
Raven are icons, pioneers, and an inspiration for many - and have been for over four decades. Their fourteenth studio album 'Metal City' - a reference to the bands (English) home town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne - was released in 2020, and to take just one look at the cover, you're left in no doubt whatsoever, the kind of music you're in store for - Heavy (fucking) Metal... The cover depicts the band as superheroes emerging from the "metal city", in some kind of comic fantasy... But this is no fantasy, this is real life, and this is Raven. 'Metal City' is ten songs and forty minutes in length, and is some of, if not the best, heavy metal you'll ever hear this year. The power and energy of the album is outstanding, Raven are hungry - and it shows...    
...with album opener 'The Power' scorching forth like a fucking rocket. The blistering pace of 'The Power' is lightning quick, the old school "foot on the monitor" style as emphatic as it has ever been. Raven have been around for over four decades and have seen it, tried it, done it, and are still doing it - as good as they have ever done it! Better in fact... First single from the album 'Top Of The Mountain', is classic Raven, the band capturing the sound of the early eighties when metal fans were endlessly spinning their first three albums - me included! Yes readers, I am that old, but as Raven are proving, age is not to be seen as a barrier - age is just a number. Oh my, the classic sound of the iconic NWOBHM buzzing guitars - 'Human Race' confirming that the traditional style of heavy metal is not dead. 'Human Race' is delivered at a lightning quick pace, the foot definitely planted on the monitor here. And John's trademark high pitched scream - yes it's still there. Raven are blazing a trail of fire, the opening triple salvo an excitement overload. Raven are just as much a part of heavy metal history as your Maiden's, Priest's and Sabbath's.    
The pace abates for the title song 'Metal City', but the heaviness certainly doesn't. 'Metal City' (the song) is a savage rampage that actually gets quicker and quicker. Storming stuff from the grandfathers (sorry guys) of heavy metal. Grandfathers that are outstripping many of the younger metal bands out there. 'Battlescarred' is a blistering furore of rampaging heavy metal, full of pace and screaming guitar. Raven are not on a nostalgia trip with this album - all new material, proving that they are not done making an impact on the worldwide metal scene. They have been an inspiration for many years, and will be for years to come, but get out the way young guns, the old 'uns are not done yet! The electrifying pace shows no sign of letting up either: 'Cybertron' scorching the Earth as it hurtles by at full tilt. What an album... What a band... This is terrific stuff.    
And oh my fucking God - the pace is at its quickest its ever been, as 'Motorheadin' blasts off like a jet fighter off to war - with just as much explosive arsenal. 'Motorheadin' is phenomenally paced, screaming past at such high velocity, blink an' you'll miss it - and believe me, you don't wanna miss it! And I'm beginning to run out of words to describe the tremendous pace this album is delivered at - hang on, where's my Thesaurus! 'Not So Easy' storms by in a hurry - breezing past like a force ten hurricane... 'Not So Easy' is lively, frisky and feisty - which can also be said for the entire fucking album. And the storming pace moves swiftly on with the savage 'Break', wreaking havoc throughout the land, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. Raven are serving up a master class of fast and furious heavy metal - is it their finest work? It may just well be - but it has stiff competition from their classic eighties landmark albums - 'Rock Until You Drop', 'Wiped Out', and 'All For One'.    
Thirty minutes and nine songs have passed since 'Metal City' (the album) powered into life with the blistering 'The Power' - with every song a speedster, a head banger, and a fucking joy. The final song on offer is over six minutes in length, and sees, or should that be hears, Raven slow the pace and up the heaviness, for a barn storming finish. Epic and atmospheric, 'When Worlds Collide' is a highly anthemic thud that will shatter windows, crumble walls, and crack the ground. 'When Worlds Collide' is a terrific end to a superb album - a definite contender for Album of the Year.    
Overall, an exciting, lively and highly energetic rampage of traditional metal from Raven - one of the genre's founding pioneers, icons, and legends of heavy metal.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV    
Other Reviews    

Screaming Murder Death From Above: Live In Aalborg    
"a sparkling performance by one of heavy metals longest serving and best bands, this live album displays Raven at their most energetic and bombastic best" Read Review