Raven: The Pack Is Back
It’s not often that one discovers a band in the new millennium that has been around since the 70’s, especially one as important to metal as Raven. I’ll be honest, I’m ashamed of myself. I’m ashamed of the fact that I had no idea who Raven was until very recently, when I heard John Gallagher’s duet with Nina Osegueda in A Sound of Thunder’s album, Out of The Darkness. I thought to myself “Who the hell is that dude and why don’t I know who he is?”
Thankfully, Google came to my rescue, but I have to give most of the credit to YouTube and the many Raven fans who have posted live music and whole albums for me to listen to.
To give you a quick idea of who this band is and why they’re so important, let’s go back in time. If you’ve ever heard the term “NWOBHM” and you have no idea what it means, it’s an acronym for “New Wave of British Heavy Metal”. Bands from that era are known for creating a distinct sound. Judas Priest and Venom are examples of bands from this era, which helped to build the many different metals we have today. The year is 1974, and in Newcastle, England, two exceptionally talented (and tall) men, the Gallagher brothers, have put together a group with drummer Paul Bowden. The sound was a mixture of progressive and hard rock, but with a little something extraL energy. This wasn’t Black Sabbath, this wasn’t punk. This was like something in the middle, like hard rock on speed. They called it “athletic rock”, based on how much energy they each put out on stage.
If you’ve never seen Raven live before, let me warn you; there will be sweat. LOTS of sweat. The boys in Raven put out so much energy, it’s almost a shock that nobody has had a heart attack on stage yet. They’re all still in relatively good shape for their age, but it’s still quite a feat to see these guys running around like teenagers. Their music is full of energy, full of driving melodies and catchy riffs. They have been putting out consistently good albums since 1980 when they released their first single, “Don’t Need Your Money”.
Well, the times, they’ve changed. Finding a label to give you enough money to put out a record isn’t easy anymore, and now, Raven DOES in fact need your money.
Now before you get all pissed off about yet another KickStarter, let me tell you something. I’m not just talking about some back-yard band with a dream. I’m not talking about a bunch of douchebags looking for free money who won’t give you anything in return. I’m talking about a band that has toured with Maiden, Priest, and Sabbath. A band who very recently played with Metallica in South America, and has not stopped playing music in over thirty years. This is a band that has proven that they have the talent and the drive to make great music, and even they can’t get a label to front them enough money to put out a decent recording.
It kind of makes me sick.
Therefore, I implore you. If you love metal, and you want to see a band continue to make great music, go check out this KickStarter. You’re gonna see 3 of the hardest working dudes in the business ask you for your help, but not for free. You’re going to get something in return, no matter how small the pledge, and Raven will be able to keep making music.
I’d love to take this time to write about KickStarter and what a bad reputation it has among metal fans but that would take all day. Instead, I just want to let all of the Toilet ov Hell readers know that this isn’t “begging for money” or “exploiting your fans” or any of the other countless stupid accusations lobbed at bands on KickStarter. This is a pre-order for an album that won’t be made unless they have enough support, which coming from a business standpoint, makes way more sense than spending money on something that may or may not break even. Lets face it, these guys are legendary but they’re not living in mansions. They’ve played with Metallica, but they don’t own Lars’ dollar-sign-shaped pool. They’re three normal (if not humongous) men who just want to keep putting out good music, and giving their fans a good product.
So go check them out. There are only a few hours left before you won’t be able to get the exclusive stuff in this campaign, and believe me, it will be worth listening to. Check out their KickStarter, support good music, and pray that bands like them are never Wiped Out.
[Joe Note: It just so happens I got an email about this very Kickstarter the same day Sarah submitted this. Additional Raven info below!]
Here’s the cover art for the KickStarter album “Extermination”.
The band is offering Kickstarter backers a full-length cover album entitled “Party Killers”. “Party Killers” is available exclusively through the Kickstarter campaign, and will not be available after the campaign ends on November 28th. “Party Killers” is available on CD and 12″ vinyl. Other Kickstarter-exclusive items including t-shirts, CDs, a 7″ vinyl single, patches, stickers, and more.
“Party Killers” track-listing:
– “Too Bad Too Sad” (Nazareth)
– “Bad Reputation” (Thin Lizzy)
– “Cockroach” (Sweet)
– “Fireball” (Deep Purple)
– “Hang on to Yourself” (David Bowie)
– “He’s a Whore” (Cheap Trick)
– “In For the Kill” (Budgie)
– “Is There a Better Way” (Status Quo)
– “Ogre Battle” (Queen)
– “Queen of My Dreams” (Edgar Winter)
– “Tak Me Bak Ome” (Slade)
Check out the preview of “Party Killers” below.