Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wiped Out-Raven

So today I am back on Two Guys, and today we are reviewing some kicking music, Raven folks! The Raven. One of the most chaotic bands of the NWOBHM. To get a picture of Raven's sound imagine Dianno era Maiden turned the guitar up a notch and then got about 50x more chaotic and you have Raven. The guitar is pretty fast and intense, it has a lot of really insane riffage that I am extremely fond of. The bass is solid and this being a power trio, it gets a pretty nice share of the sound. The drums are nice and almost as chaotic as the guitar. Finally the vocalist is intense and his vocals are reminiscent of Maiden yet unique in their own way. Still they sound like a jam band version of Maiden and could be tightened up.
The only word that can describe the madness of the guitar work on this album is “Hectic”. There are few song defining riffs, the music is just based around one amazing guy mashing his way through the album. This of course has it pluses and minuses. The major advantage is that it gives the songs a LOT more energy than every other NWOBHM band. Unfortunately it makes the band sound inexperienced and loose. The bass is solid and gets quite a few nice riffs it dominates the rhythm portion of the songs and it is highly enjoyable. Then we have “Wacko” Hunter on the drums. The drums are completely insane sounding. They are chaotic and fast and completely unpredictable. In a way their chaos is compelling, in another it is mediocre.
The vocals are very interesting and they have an interesting feel. In a way I am reminded of Paul Dianno, but this is like the jam band version of Dianno's voice, It does not sound as good but it has just as much passion. The vocals are usually well done and try to get by on vibe alone, fortunately there is enough singing talent there to get him through. Still the vocals could be better. One of the biggest problems with the vocals is that they are barely louder than the guitar. Which brings me to another point, poor production plagues this band and it hurts. Still the lyrics are fairly good and redeem some of the hurt done by the poor production. They are typically violent, reflecting on the chaos of the music but sometimes they delve into fantasy. In particular the song “Faster than the Speed of Light” is something of a science fiction influenced metal ballad.
Overall Raven is a decent band but they sound too much like the nooby jam band version of Iron Maiden to truly win a place in my heart. Still the guitar is good, it is extremely hectic and filled with nice one time only riffs. I like how the bass gets a big role in this power trio and that helps fill out the sound a lot. The drums are also solid if a bit, I mean, a lot, hectic and insane. The vocals are also okay, but they are to reminiscent of Dianno and they do not sound as good as his vocals and I just can't find it in me to love them too much. Finally the lyrics are okay, but are rarely deep and serious. Overall this is worth a listen but it is not top notch.

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