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Review: Raven - Wiped Out
Wiped Out

Label: Neat Records
Year released: 1982
Duration: 51:45
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: May 1, 2018
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 4.13/5 (82.5%) (16 Votes)

Raven is one of the oldest still surviving NWOBHM bands, having formed back in 1974 in Newcastle, England. They initially called their style of music "athletic rock" mainly due to their high-energy live performances and the fact they tended to wear sports equipment on stage, not just as a fashion statement but to literally protect themselves against bumps and bruises from all the jumping around they did. They didn't consider themselves "metal" at first but the loud, wild and heavy songs they were playing certainly fit in with the NWOBHM and the added publicity from being associated with the new movement was undeniable and priceless.

Wiped Out is the band's second album and was put out by the infamous Neat Records, legendary for their terrible production. Wiped Out sounds like the band spent a weekend in the garage recording straight to a boom box then turned the tape over to the label bosses who said, "sounds good" and pressed it right to vinyl. There's a ton of talking, instrument noise and a general air of guys just jamming throughout the album. There's almost no bottom end and John Gallagher's bass would have been lost if not for the fact he essentially plays it like a rhythm guitar. Atrocious sound aside, the aforementioned high energy is the driving force behind the 12 songs on Wiped Out. You've got Mark Gallagher's savage guitar, Rob Hunter's brutal drumming and John Gallagher's unhinged screaming that still add up to a sound no other NWOBHM band had. Many of the songs sound more like loose ideas of what a song should sound like with three guys bashing their instrument but there are some standouts. "Fire Power" is well written with a nice bridge leading into a catchy chorus, while "Live at the Inferno" is an excellent anthem that ultimately lent its title to the band's live album that preceded their move to a major label (Atlantic Records) in 1985. It is obvious that this English trio listened to 70s Rush when you hear "To the Limit/To the Top" which has several slower, spacey, 2112 passages interspersed with more boisterous rock.

After this album, Raven signed up with Michael Wagener and Udo Dirkschneider's Double Trouble who co-produced the band's definitive All for One album, but you can hear where the band was going on Wiped Out. It isn't the greatest album and it can be a little hard on the ears, but time has smoothed over some of the rougher bits and it should be heard by any and all true fans of the NWOBHM as these guys were there at the beginning, creating a unique sound that has never been duplicated.

More about Raven...
Review: All For One (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: All Hell's Breaking Loose (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: All for One (2021) (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: ExtermiNation (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: ExtermiNation (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Metal City (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Walk Through Fire (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with vocalist/bassist John Gallagher on May 4, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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