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Review: Raven - ExtermiNation

Label: SPV
Year released: 2015
Duration: 1:02:15
Tracks: 15
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: April 24, 2015
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.79/5 (75.79%) (19 Votes)

Usually, when a label claims the new album from a classic band "rivals" their early material my bullshit detector sings like a kettle on the stove. With Raven’s ExtermiNation however, Steamhammer are only mildly stretching the truth.

Let’s be honest, as long as John and Mark Gallagher remain the core of Raven the music will be recognizable to anyone familiar with the band. John’s acrobatic vocals are intact some 41 years after the band was formed and he can still hit the highs like he did in the early 80s. Mark’s solos, wild, unpredictable and the blueprint for what would become the Thrash Metal solo, are also well represented. Drummer Joe Hasselvander, with "only" 27 years as a member of Raven so still the "new" guy, lays down a solid foundation on which the Gallagher’s hang their insanity. Most of ExtermiNation is a mix of the modern Heavy/Thrash Metal sound the band adopted starting with Nothing Exceeds like Excess. There are a lot of well-written songs that show the band has not lost their skills for combining over-the-top playing with catchy melodies. A few songs actually do hearken back to the Rock Until You Drop/Wiped Out/All for One era craziness. "Fight" is built around a classic Raven riff and on "Feeding the Monster" John screams like its 1984 and lets his bass run wild. The chorus of "One More Day" really underscores the fact the band’s ability to write a memorable chorus is undiminished. As I said earlier, the rest of the album is quite entertaining and is marred only by the fact that out of 15 songs less than that have ideas that sound fully fleshed out. The album probably could have used about 4-5 less tracks and still been as strong.

ExtermiNation is a great example of the saying that if you never liked a band before this album won’t change your mind but, if you’ve been a fan in the past, it should bring a smile to your face.

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: Metal City (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Walk Through Fire (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Wiped Out (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with vocalist/bassist John Gallagher on May 4, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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