Raven – ExtermiNation

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If Armored Saint’s new album, Win Hands Down (Metal Blade) taught us anything, it’s that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel or ignore your legacy to make a good album. Despite having been going since the mid-seventies, British NWOBHM crew Raven still know how to crank out an energetic slab of rock.

ExtermiNation (SPV/Steamhammer) is the 80s speed metal veterans’ 13th album and one they funded through Kickstarter late last year. The band, consisting of Gallagher brothers John and Mark [Bass/vocals and guitar respectively] plus drummer Joe Hasselvander do a good job of defying their years and combine plenty of energy with “shove in as many riffs as possible” approach to song writing.

On their Kickstarter page, the band billed ExtermiNation as “the best Raven album yet.” That might be a stretch for any band with such a lengthy legacy, but it’s definitely a raucous ride. There’s plenty of pounding drums, squealing guitars and crowd-pleasing sing along moments. Raven’s ability to mesh those Megadeth-esque speed metal moments with the more mid-paced NWOBHM chugging and even borderline AOR melody is probably their strongest asset. Not of it is particularly aggressive – it’s more fists in the air than fist to the face – but they know how to craft a few good tunes.

‘Thunder Down Under’ mixes AC/DC groove with beefed up rock, while the likes of ‘No Surrender’ and ‘Battle March/Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)’ and have a classic Iron Maiden style regard to squealing guitar leads. Gallagher’s vocals range from a simple shout right through to the kind of falsetto more suited to (now defunct) 3 Inches of Blood – and might be the strongest but suit the band’s rough around the edges sound. The more ballad/melody-oriented songs drag on and there are times when it all gets a bit too hackneyed, but the whole it’s a surprisingly enjoyable listen.

As many imitators as the whole NWOBHM scene as, there’s a reason the original acts are still seen as the best. Few bands can combine that energy, catchiness and ability to make you smile. It’s not big, clever, or anything we haven’t heard a thousand times elsewhere, but ExtermiNation is a simple and enjoyable slice of good time rock that harks back to metal’s heyday.

 

7.0/10

Raven on Facebook

 

DAN SWINHOE

Abiotic Streaming “Cast Into The Depths”

abiotic casuistry

South Florida death metallers Abiotic will be kicking off a lengthy North American tour in April with Boris The Blade, Alterbeast and others. They will be touring in support of Casuitry, out April 21, 2015 via Metal Blade Records. Stream “Cast Into The Depths,” which features Dying Fetus frontman John Gallagher on guest vocals, here.

ABIOTIC:
Apr 12: Hotshots – Shreveport, LA
Apr 13: Riot Room – Kansas City, MO (w/ Vital Remains, Vale Of Pnath)
w/ Boris the Blade, Alterbeast, Reaping Asmodeia:
Apr 15: High Tone Cafe – Memphis, TN
Apr 16: Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC
Apr 17: 10th Street Live – Kenilworth, NJ
Apr 18: Coco 66 – Brooklyn, NY
Apr 20: Montage Music Hall – Rochester, NY
Apr 21: Mavericks – Ottawa, ON
Apr 22: The Ritz – Detroit, MI
Apr 23: Vintage Villains – Danville, IL
Apr 24: Bada Brew – Crest Hill, IL
Apr 25: Warehouse – Lacrosse, WI
Apr 26: Metal Grill – Milwaukee, WI
Apr 27: Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA
w/ Boris The Blade, Alterbeast:
Apr 28: The Skatuary – Denver, CO
Apr 29: Metro Bar – Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 30: Green T – Pocatello, ID
w/ Boris The Blade, Alterbeast, Lord Of War:
May 02: The Pin – Spokane, WA
May 03: Duffy’s Hangar – Salem, OR
May 05: The Rockbar – San Jose, CA
May 06: The Grizzly Den – Upland ,CA
May 07: Rock City Studios – Camarillo, CA
May 08: Soma – San Diego, CA

boris the blade abiotic alterbeast reaping asmodeia tour

Abiotic on YouTube
Abiotic on Twitter

Abiotic Releasing Casuistry April 21st

abiotic casuistry

Abiotic is releasing their new album Casuistry on April 21, 2015 via Metal Blade Records. In support of the record, they will be hitting the road on an extensive North American tour, which is posted below. Stream “Cast Into The Depths,” featuring John Gallagher of Dying Fetus on guest vocals, here.

They had re-tooled their line up by adding vocalist Travis Bartosek and drummer Brent Phillips. In the late summer of 2014, Abiotic ventured to Basement Recordings with acclaimed producer Jamie King.

The addition of Brent Phillips and Travis Bartosek were particularly influential on the recording process. Phillip’s drumming allowed for the band to spend more time exploring tones and sounds than ever before. He brought a renewed sense of groove and feel to the process, along with being the fastest drummer the band has played with to date. Vocally, fans will notice the largest change here. Bartosek took over lyric writing duties and topics range from suicide, Middle East conflict, religion, and a bit of misanthropy. An additional note on vocals – John Gallagher of Dying Fetus can be heard lending his trademark sounds on “Cast Into the Depths.”

ABIOTIC Headline Dates:
Apr 09: Walters – Houston, TX
Apr 10: Empire Control Room – Austin, TX (Texas Independent Fest)*
Apr 11: Yays – San Angelo, TX
*Denotes Festival Appearance

ABIOTIC w/ Boris the Blade, Alterbeast, Reaping, Asmodeia
Apr 12: Hotshots – Shreveport, LA
Apr 13: Riot Room – Kansas City, MO (w/Vital Remains & Vale of Pnath)
Apr 15: High Tone Records – Memphis, TN
Apr 16: Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC
Apr 17: 10th Street Live – Kenilworth, NJ
Apr 18: Coco 66 – Brooklyn, NY
Apr 20: Montage Music Hall – Rochester, NY
Apr 21: Mavericks – Ottawa, ON
Apr 22: The Ritz – Detroit, MI
Apr 23: Vintage Villains – Danville, IL
Apr 24: Bada Brew – Crest Hill, IL
Apr 25: Warehouse – Lacrosse, WI
Apr 26: Metal Grill – Milwaukee, WI
Apr 27: Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA

ABIOTIC w/Boris the Blade, Alterbeast
Apr 28: The Skatuary – Denver, CO
Apr 29: Metro Bar – Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 30: Green T – Pocatello, ID

ABIOTIC w/Boris the Blade, Alterbeast, Lord of War
May 02: The Pin – Spokane, WA
May 03: Duffy’s Hangar – Salem, OR
May 05: The Rockbar – San Jose, CA
May 06: The Grizzly Den – Upland, CA
May 07: Rock City Studios – Camarillo, CA
May 08: Soma – San Diego, CA

ABIOTIC Headline Date:
May 09: The Underground – Mesa, AZ

Dying Fetus Announce European Headline Tour

 

dying fetus tour

 

Technical Death Metal legends Dying Fetus are heading back to Europe this fall for a six-week tour. They will be joined by fellow musical misanthropes in Goatwhore, Malevolence and Fallujah. The long-running band is still out on the road supporting their exceptional 2012 album Reign Supreme (Relapse). Of the trek, Guitarist / vocalist John Gallagher has said:

 

 

We’re stoked to hit the European road this winter and crush the weak! Every band on this tour brings something unique to the table thus making an amazing package which will pulverize. This will be a death metal party that shouldn’t be missed. Bring your war helmet!”

 

 


Dying Fetus tour dates / European Tour with Goatwhore, Malevolence and Fallujah

Nov 08 – Liege, Belgium – Fonck

Nov 09 – Essen, Germany – Turock (Matinee)

Nov 10 – Frankfurt, Germany – 11er

Nov 11 – Dessau, Germany – Beatclub

Nov 12 – Prague, Czech Rep – Meet Factory w/ Cannibal Corpse

Nov 13 – Ludwigsburg, Germany – Rockfabrik

Nov 14 – Berlin, Germany – Lido

Nov 15 – Eindhoven, Netherlands – Dynamo

Nov 16 – Trier, Germany – Exhaus

Nov 17 – Brighton, UK – Audio

Nov 18 – Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach

Nov 19 – Glasgow, UK – Cathouse

Nov 20 – Dublin, Ireland – Voodoo Lounge

Nov 21 – Manchester, UK – Sound Control

Nov 22 – Wolverhampton, UK – Slade Rooms

Nov 23 – London, UK – Garage

Nov 24 – Paris, France – Divan Du Monde

Nov 25 – Toulouse, France – La Dynamo

Nov 26 – Santander, Spain – Escenario

Nov 27 – Porto, Portugal – Hard Club

Nov 28 – Madrid, Spain – Penélope

Nov 29 – Badalona, Spain – Estraperlo Club

Nov 30 – Nimes, France – Paloma

Dec 01 – Clermont-Ferrand, France – Le Tremplin

Dec 02 – Aarau, Switzerland – Kiff

Dec 03 – Brescia, Italy – Circolo Colony

Dec 04 – München, Germany – Backstage

Dec 05 – Budapest, Hungary – Blue Hell

Dec 06 – Ljubljana, Slovenia – Gala Hala

Dec 07 – Cluj-Napoca, Romania – Flying Circus

Dec 08 – Sofia, Bulgaria – Jet Rock

Dec 09 – Brasov, Romania – Club Rockstadt

Dec 10 – Kosice, Slovakia – Collosseum

Dec 11 – Wien, Austria – Viper Room

Dec 12 – Nürnberg, Germany – Rockfabrik

Dec 13 – Aarhus, Denmark – Voxhall

Dec 14 – Oslo, Norway – John Dee

Dec 16 – Helsinki, Finland – Nosturi

Dec 18 – Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser Medis

Dec 19 – Hamburg, Germany – Kaiserkeller, Große Freiheit

Dec 20 – Leer, Germany – Zollhaus

 

JOHN GALLAGHER of DYING FETUS

JOHN GALLAGHER of DYING FETUS

 

In the meantime Dying Fetus hits the road in the USA on this year’s Summer Slaughter Tour, as direct support for Morbid Angel, and also counting Goatwhore and Fallujah on that bill. That tour begins tonight in California. When they are done with touring for the year, they will turn their attention to recording their next album, due in 2015, also for Relapse.

 

dyingfetusreignsupremecover

 

Check out the new video for ‘Second Skin’ here

 

Dying Fetus on Facebook

Dying Fetus on Bandcamp

Dying Fetus on Instagram (new)