REVIEW: The MegaCruise 2019

Like most metalheads, I’ve been to a lot of metal shows over the years. Over the hundreds of metal shows I’ve attended, never once did I think to myself “You know what would make this even better? Being trapped on a boat in the middle of the fucking ocean.” And yet, having taken some time to reflect on my experiences aboard the inaugural MegaCruise by Megadeth, I revel in the memories of experiencing choppy water while thrashing through the Pacific, convinced I’m going to die on a boat watching Dragonforce and being oddly ok with it. Continue reading

PREVIEW: MegaCruise Makes Its Debut at Sea Today!

Following the pre-cruise party last night with UFO, Raven, and Armored Saint, the Megacruise tales off today from Los Angeles for its maiden voyage! The cruise features members of Megadeth, and performances from Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament, Dragonforce, Overkill, Corrosion Of Conformity,  Queensryche, Suicidal Tendencies, Death Angel, Sacred Reich, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons, Doro, Armored Saint, John 5, Metal Church, Danko Jones, Beastö Blancö, Metalachi, and Toothgrinder. Megadeth tribute band Mechanix will also take part in the cruise, hand-selected by Dave Mustaine himself. In addition, Official Cruise Hosts Eddie Trunk (VH1, SiriusXM, Axs), Luc Carl (SiriusXM) and Jose Mangin (SiriusXM) will be moderating Q&As and events. Departing out of Los Angeles aboard the Norwegian Jewel, the five-day/five-night full ship charter cruise will set sail toniht, October 13-18, 2019, visiting two ports of call (Ensenada, Mexico and San Diego, California) and host two heavy metal-filled days of music and events. The cruise will also feature an optional pre-cruise party in Los Angeles (details to be announced), Megadeth wine and beer tastings and a ton of metal fan frivolity! Stay tuned for our review coming in a few weeks!

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Megacruise Adds Raven, Ben Woods and Hollywood Pre-Party

Rooms are selling out fast for Megadeth’s inaugural Megacruise, setting sail next from Los Angeles, California on Sunday, October 13, 2019, for five days. The cruise has added metal legends Raven, as well as Ben Woods and booked a Hollywood pre-cruise party at Avalon featuring UFO, Armored Saint, and Raven as well. joining Anthrax, Testament, Dragonforce, Overkill, Corrosion Of Conformity, Devildriver, Queensryche, Suicidal Tendencies, Death Angel, Sacred Reich, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons, Doro, Armored Saint, John 5, Metal Church, Danko Jones, Beastö Blancö, Metalachi, and Toothgrinder. Megadeth tribute band Mechanix will also take part in the cruise, hand selected by Dave Mustaine himself. In addition, Official Cruise Hosts Eddie Trunk (VH1, SiriusXM, Axs), Luc Carl (SiriusXM) and Jose Mangin (SiriusXM) will be moderating Q&As and events. Departing out of Los Angeles aboard the Norwegian Jewel, the five-day/five-night full ship charter cruise will set sail October 13-18, 2019, visiting two ports of call (Ensenada, Mexico and San Diego, California) and host two heavy metal-filled days of music and events. The cruise will also feature an optional pre-cruise party in Los Angeles (details to be announced). Cabins start at $1,349 per person (double occupancy). Government fees, taxes, and gratuities are additional and mandatory for all passengers, regardless of age. Continue reading

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

Music Video: Raven – Battle Marks/Tanks Tread (The Blood Runs Red)

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Raven is streaming the music video for “Battle Marks/Tanks Tread (The Blood Runs Red),” off of ExtermiNation, out now via SPV/Steamhammer.

raven extermination

Track Listing Digipak:
01: Destroy All Monsters
02: Tomorrow
03: It`s Not What You Got
04: Fight
05: Battle March/Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)
06: Feeding The Monster
07: Fire Burns Within
08: Scream
09: One More Day
10: Thunder Down Under
11: No Surrender
12: Golden Dawn
13: Silver Bullet
14: River Of No Return
15: Malice In Geordieland (Bonus Track)

Audio + Lyric Video: Raven – Fight + Destroy All Monsters

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Raven is streaming “Fight,” off of their newly released album Extermination, out now via SPV/Steamhammer  here. They are also streaming a lyric video for “Destroy All Monsters” below.

Track Listing Digipak:
01: Destroy All Monsters
02: Tomorrow
03: It`s Not What You Got
04: Fight
05: Battle March/Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)
06: Feeding The Monster
07: Fire Burns Within
08: Scream
09: One More Day
10: Thunder Down Under
11: No Surrender
12: Golden Dawn
13: Silver Bullet
14: River Of No Return
15: Malice In Geordieland (Bonus Track)

Raven Streaming “Destroy All Monsters” Lyric Video

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Raven is streaming a lyric video for “Destroy All Monsters,” off their new album ExtermiNation, out in Scandinavia on April 22nd, in Germany on April 24th, in Europe on April 27th and in the USA on April 28th as a digipak version (incl. 1 bonus track), 2LP gatefold green vinyl version and download through SPV/Steamhammer. View it below.

Track Listing Digipak:
1. Destroy All Monsters
2. Tomorrow
3. It`s Not What You Got
4. Fight
5. Battle March/Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)
6. Feeding The Monster
7. Fire Burns Within
8. Scream
9. One More Day
10. Thunder Down Under
11. No Surrender
12. Golden Dawn
13. Silver Bullet
14. River Of No Return
15. Malice In Geordieland (Bonus Track)

raven extermination

Raven Releasing ExtermiNation In April

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Veteran UK metallers Raven will be releasing ExtermiNation in Scandinavia on April 22nd, in Germany on April 24th, in Europe on April 27th and in the USA on April 28th via SPV/Steamhammer. Stream “Thunder Down Under” here.

raven extermination

Track Listing Digipak:
1. Destroy All Monsters
2. Tomorrow
3. It`s Not What You Got
4. Fight
5. Battle March/Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)
6. Feeding The Monster
7. Fire Burns Within
8. Scream
9. One More Day
10. Thunder Down Under
11. No Surrender
12. Golden Dawn
13. Silver Bullet
14. River Of No Return
15. Malice In Geordieland (Bonus Track)

Tracklisting 2LP:

LP 1
Side 1
1. Destroy All Monsters
2. Tomorrow
3. It`s Not What You Got
4. Fight

Side 2
1. Battle March/Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)
2. Feeding The Monster
3. Fire Burns Within
4. Scream

LP 2
Side 1
1. One More Day
2. Thunder Down Under
3. No Surrender
4. Golden Dawn
Side 2
1. Silver Bullet
2. River Of No Return
3. Malice In Geordieland (Bonus Track)

RAVEN live 2015:

Mar 06: El Circo Volador – Mexico City (MX)
Mar 07: Thrash La Union Festival – Bogota (CO)
Mar 08: Thrash La Union Festival – Pereira (CO)
Mar 11: Wairuru Club – Lima (PE)
Mar 13: Priliampus Bar – Sorocaba (BR)
Mar 15: Manifesto Bar – Sao Paulo (BR)
Mar 27: Club Pkrl – Helsinki (FI)
Mar 28: Iron Steel Fest – Genk (B)
Mar 31: Hafenklang – Hamburg (DE)
Apr 01: Meisenfrei – Bremen (DE)
Apr 02: Helvete – Oberhausen (DE)
Apr 03: Cacaofabriek – Helmond (NL)
Apr 04: Very Eavy Fest – Staadskanal (NL)

Evil Invaders – Pulses of Pleasure

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The first track of Pulses of Pleasure (Napalm) is called ‘Fast, Loud and Rude’ and that tells you everything you need to know. Once it kicks off with a riff that buzzes around like a pissed off wasp you’ve just failed to swat, high on the spillage of your fizzy drink, you know exactly what type of journey Evil Invaders are going to take you on.

With a more melodic (and slightly restrained) take on Exodus, and lashings and thrashings of Exciter worship, Evil Invaders don’t do subtle. Or diverse. They do, however, pedal a line in nostalgic old school thrash and speed metal and everything, from the retro production to the squealing solos (nice harmony lead in the title track, by the way guys) and the pacy chromatic riffs is lovingly recreated. Existing in a bubble where metal ended when Udo quit Accept and Kai Hansen stopped fronting Helloween, Evil Invaders’ sound and influences begin in 1979 and end in 1986.

While the production and performance values and the base level of pretty much every band releasing music out there these days has increased a thousand-fold in the last thirty years, Speed Metal still allows, nay, welcomes with studded wrist band adorned arms, the amateurish “rough and ready” approach which did alright by Raven and Razor (one assumes the band name is taken from the Razor album of the same name?). Deliberately Shit Metal only exists in the hearts and minds of those with both (white hi-top clad) feet in yesteryear, and Gehennah, who do this retro thing with more balls, menace and conviction, shit Evil Invaders for breakfast.

Some might argue naïve charm and a love of a bygone age, when denim and chains (and rivets) ruled the roost, but the fun factor soon wears off as Pulses of Pleasure reveals itself to be big on style and short on substance. The classic speed metal albums were great because, above all, they lived and died on standout riffs and excellent songwriting. Evil Invaders fall short on both counts.

 

5.5/10

Evil Invaders on Facebook

 

STEVE TOVEY