This past weekend, we caught The Raven Age on tour with Iron Maiden in Toronto, Ontario. Not only did they put on a thoroughly enjoyable set, but their self-titled debut EP has been out for over a year now, so we figured we'd give it a listen and a review.
As a long-time fan of Iron Maiden, it's probably worthwhile to get this out of the way up front. No, this EP isn't good by the simple fact that one of their guitarists is the son of Maiden founder and primary song writer, Steve Harris. This is a great album because it rocks. It's catchy, melodic and all the while, incredibly easy to listen to. To sum up their sound in a sentence, it's Bullet For My Valentine without the screaming.
The EP starts off with the subdued lead off, "Uprising," immediately demonstrating the melodic capabilities of The Raven Age. The song builds up and seamlessly leads into "Eye Among the Blind." With this track, the ante is raised as this song kicks off with a bit more ferocity. The melodic sound continues to hook straight through this track.
The second half of the EP begins with "The Death March," the strongest track of the four. It fades in with a gallop that sets the pace for this tune, and it never lets go. The vocals are extremely accessible and this makes for yet another great tune to jam to. They close out their effort with "Angel in Disgrace," the most aggressive track on the album. Here, we get some of the most intense drumming and guitar work on the album.
This was a fun EP to review. It's very concise at just four songs, but I've listened to it at least half a dozen time while preparing to write about it. This is easily the kind of album I would run to, as it keeps a very consistent level of energy from the moment the first track builds. The only discernable fault on this EP is that the band plays it safe, and in doing so, risks failing to differentiate themselves. There are moments when I'm waiting for vocalist Michael Burrough to explode, either with a scream or yell or anything outside of the comfort zone. With that in mind, this is a four song debut EP, it rocks, and I will be certain to keep a look out for how they follow it up. As mentioned previously, they put on a great live show, and I have little doubt we'll hear more from them very soon.
The Raven Age are:
Michael Burrough - Vocals
Dan Wright - Guitar
George Harris - Guitar
Matt Cox - Bass Guitar
Jai Patel - Drums
Watch the debut music video for "Angel in Disgrace" below: