One of the greatest inequities of modern metal industry is that bands who kept on releasing classic metal albums during the 90’s never managed to receive the recognition they deserved. Bands like RAVEN that went on an album releasing spree from 1987 till 1999, among which, my all time favorite Raven album (“Architect of Fear”) and other near-classics like “Glow”, or “One for All”. During the 00’s the band somehow laid down in terms of album releasing and focused more on live performances. Yet time is up for a new Raven album called “Metal City”.
The Gallagher bros have (almost) always been stubbornly obsessed with the (so called) “athletic rock” style the band has been known for. And “Metal City” is no different from the band’s previous albums. High energy songs, galloping rhythm and a noisy atmosphere. To be honest I always thought that the band’s humorous profile prevented them from being welcomed to larger and more “mature” audiences, yet I do believe that RAVEN do not really care. Therefore “Top of The Mountain”, “Battlescared”, “Human Race”, “Cybertron” follow the classic speed/heavy/hard style the band is know for while other tracks like “Metal City” or “When Worlds Collide” are a homage to the band’s more epic tracks like “Tyrant of The Airways”.
I really loved the heavy sound of the album with the fat rhythmic guitar and the screaming solos. The song structures are simple, yet the songs are not boring: the album flows smoothly, and the listener do not get weary. While the production is quite modern it still maintains its classic vibe and has a retro feeling. Raven seem to gaze into the future while they do not forget their past.
Overall “Metal City” is a highly enjoyable album. RAVEN is one of those band, that though they have never managed to get big, they have always been around surviving in a music industry that keeps ignoring them. Do not miss this one!