Raven are an English metal trio from the NWOBHM era. Raven was formed in late-70's in Newcastle, England by brothers Mark (guitar), John Gallagher (bass/vocals) and drummer Rob "Wacko" Hunter. They signed with independent Neat Records and laid the groundwork for what would become known as thrash metal, although Raven commonly referred to themselves as "Athletic Rock!" This was not a bad description as Raven were over-the-top, energetic, British heavy metal. I am a complete Raven lunatic, although I must admit I did lose interest in them for a short spell in the late 1980's when they were following the glam pop-metal trend. I picked back up with "Nothing Exceeds Like Excess." When the band returned to its roots. For a long while in the early 1990’s, the early Raven catalog was quite hard to come by on CD and people were paying outrageous amounts of money for copies of "All for One" on eBay. Fortunately the band’s entire catalog was re-released on CD in 1999. Raven finally secured an American label in 2000 and released  "One For All" on Metal Blade Records. In Nov. 2001 Mark  Gallagher  suffered a very bad accident where his legs were crushed.  After years of rehabilitation, Raven were back to doing shows and as of 2006 recording new material. Finally in 2009, the band’s new CD "Walk Through Fire" was released in Japan. The band finally secured a European record company to release "Walk Through Fire" with a 2010 release date.

Rock Until You Drop
Raven - Rock Until You Drop
(Spitfire) 1981

1. "Hard Ride" (3:10)
2. "Hell Patrol" (4:43)
3. "Don't Need Your Money" (3:22)
4. "Over the Top" (3:51)
5. "39-40" [instrumental] (:51)
6. "For the Future" (4:04)
7. "Rock Until You Drop" (4:02)
8. "Nobody's Hero" (3:50)
9. "Hellraiser/Action" (5:37)
10. "Lambs to the Slaughter" (3:51)
11. "Tyrant of the Airways" (7:16)
12. "Wiped Out" (4:30)
13. "Crazy World" (3:57)
14. "Inquisitor" (3:53)

Raven - Don't Need Your Money 7" single

Raven - Hard Ride (autographed) 7" single

Rock Until You Drop 12" vinyl picture disc

John Gallagher (bass/vocals), Rob "Wacko" Hunter (drums)
& Mark Gallagher (guitars)


"Rock Until You Drop" is a genuine heavy metal classic. NWOBHM indeed, but infused with a sense of speed and urgency that few other NWOBHM bands had. The raw, recorded live in the studio sound quality adds to the overall charisma of the release. Sure it's nasty, but it was 1982. It wasn't about stellar production. It was about attitude; raw, stinkin' heavy metal attitude and Raven delivered it by the truckloads. The cover photo of Raven buried in their own equipment is a tell tale story of what you will hear in the music. Controlled chaos! In a sense Raven (or arguably Motorhead) were the first speed metal band. 1981 and Raven were one of the heaviest things going. "Fist clenching, neck-breaking, head-busting sound. High power metal!" "Hell Patrol" is one of my favorite Raven songs. "Action" is a smokin' cover of Sweet's classic track.

The Spitfire re-issue the first three albums in the US. Of course these reissues contains a nice booklet with photos and tons of liner notes, as well as three bonus tracks.

"Lambs to the Slaughter" has been covered by Kreator.

Wiped Out
Raven - Wiped Out
(Neat Records) 1982

1. "Faster Than the Speed of Light" (4:22)
2. "Bring the Hammer Down" (4:19)
3. "Fire Power" (3:08)
4. "Read All About It" (3:01)
5. "To the Limit/To the Top" (7:54)
6. "Battle Zone" (3:34)
7. "Live at the Inferno" (3:54)
8. "Star War" (5:35)
9. "UXB" (3:25)
10. "20/21"[instrumental] (1:36)
11. "Hold Back the Fire" (5:50)
12. "Chain Saw" (5:17)
13. "Crash, Bang, Wallop" (3:04)
14. "Rock Hard" (3:11)
15. "Run Them Down" (2:59)

Crash, Bang, Wallop EP (red & purple vinyl).

Raven 1983
Rob "Wacko" Hunter, Mark & John Gallagher

"Wiped Out" wins the award for the WORST cover art! CHEESE is the word for it. Never judge a book by it's cover, however, because the music contained is great! Wiped Out contains many classic, over-the-top Raven bangers including album opener "Faster than the Speed of Light", "To the Limit/To the Top", "Live At the Inferno", and the infectious "Fire Power". This CD features a tad better production than "R.U.Y.D." but if you listen to Raven, you were never concerned with production to begin with. Raven are loud, proud, and obnoxious! Crank it up and drive your mom, wife, or whoever up a wall!

A note of interest, "Rock Hard" features Mark Gallagher on vocals.

The 1999 reissue has the "Crash Bang Wallop" EP as bonus tracks.

Raven - Radio Hell/Heads Up
(CD-R compilation)

1. "Lambs to the Slaughter" (3:28)
2. "Hold Back the Fire" (5:48)
3. "Hard Ride" (3:08)
4. "Chainsaw" (4:11)
5. "Hell On Earth" (4:57)
6. "World Comes Tumbling Down" (4:43)
3. "Stay Human" (4:32)
4. "Still Hungry" (3:47)
5. "All For One" [live] (3:52)
6. "Into the Jaws of Death" [live] (3:56)
7. "Can't Run & Hide" [live] (2:40)

CDR compilation of some rare Raven tracks made for me by John Gallagher. Tracks 1-4 were released on a record called "Radio Hell" which was recorded live over a UK Radio One program in 1982. The original was released on CD by Raw Fruit and featured four songs each by Raven, Venom and Warfare. These four tunes are all excellent and sound as good as the original album recordings, probably because they too were pretty much recorded live in the studio. The last seven tracks are taken from the "Heads Up" EP. See below for more info on that disc.

Raven - All for One (Neat Records) 1983

1. "Take Control" (3:22)
2. "Mind Over Metal" (3:29)
3. "Sledgehammer Rock" (3:58)
4. "All for One" (3:31)
5. "Run Silent Run Deep" (5:38)
6. "Hung, Drawn & Quartered" (5:17)
7. "Break the Chain" (3:45)
8. "Take It Away" (3:24)
9. "Seek & Destroy" (3:51)
10. "Athletic Rock" (4:40)
11. "Born to be Wild" (3:28)
12. "The Ballad of Marshall Stack" (5:36)
13. "Inquisitor" (4:02)

When I was in high school bands like Accept, Anvil, Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Raven were all underground bands and with the exception of the small group I hung out with, nobody in school listened to them. Who would have figured that a few of these bands would break out from the pack and become giants. Raven's third full length disc, "All for One" was a raw, mean, aggressive piece of metal. "Break the Chain," the album's single was doing well and it looked as though Raven would be one of those bands that would become huge, but alas, it never really happened to the extent that it did for Metallica, Anthrax, or even Accept and Slayer. Who cares! This album is a metal classic. Nobody did it like Raven in 1983! Nobody was this intense, this aggressive, this outrageous! Add to that the "Break the Chain" EP that has been added to this 1999 reissue and you've got one monster metal disc. "Inquisitor" with Udo Dirkschneider (UDO/Accept) sharing vocals duties is one outrageous song. "The Ballad of Mashall Stack" is no ballad, but another outrageous Raven masterwork. "Born to be Wild" is the craziest and the truly heaviest version of this song I have ever heard. Udo and John Gallagher sharing lead vocals is, well, let's just say that if someone were to ask me what the definition of heavy metal was I would play them this song. Enough said? Too bad that Raven would give into big label pressure after this and start releasing pop metal fluff.

Powergod recorded a cover of "Mind Over Metal".

Born to Be Wild 7" picture disc single

Born to Be Wild
Born to Be Wild 7" single

Break the Chain
Break the Chain 12" single

Break the Chain 7" single

Raven - Live at the Inferno (Megaforce/Steamhammer) 1984

1. "Intro/Live at the Inferno" (1:21)
2. "Take Control (3:22)
3. "Mind Over Metal (3:30)
4. "Crash Bang Wallop (3:13)
5. "Rock Until You Drop (4:12)
6. "Faster than the Speed of Light (4:12)
7. "All For One (3:48)
8. "Forbidden Planet" [guitar solo] (1:52)
9. "Star Wars" (5:19)
10. "Tyrant of the Airways/ Run Silent, Run Deep" (6:41)
11. "Crazy World" (4:53)
12. "Let It Rip" (3:48)
13. "I.G.A.R.B.O." (2:03)
14. "Wiped Out" (4:02)
15. "Fire Power" (3:29)
16. "I Don't Need Your Money" (3:22)
17. "Break the Chain" (3:58)
18. "Hell Patrol" (7:23)
19. "Live at the Inferno" (6:54)

Raven & Metallica

I read somewhere that live albums are usually the end of an era for a band. This is especially true of Raven. After this disc they totally lost focus of what they were doing and what their fans wanted. So, I suppose this live album is a testament to the early days of Raven, when they were on the top and perhaps the greatest NWOBHM band around. Raven's "Live at the Inferno" is an excellent testament to that fact. Every song on this disc is blistering, heavy, and raw, exactly the way Raven is suppose to be. Finding this two record set on CD was a chore as it has never been commercially available in the US, that I know of. My copy is a German import. I also own a vinyl copy on Megaforce.

"Take It Away", which was recorded for this album and didn't make the cut, was released on the "Deep Into The Vaults" compilation.

Devils Carrion Raven - The Devil Carrion (Raw Power/RAW LP 003) 1985

1. Hard Ride
2. Bring the Hammer Down
3. Inquisitor
4. All for One
5. Hellraiser/Action (medley)
6. Live at the Inferno
7. Crash, Bang, Wallop
8. Ballad of Marshall Stack
9. Crazy World
10. Rock Until You Drop
11. Don't Need Your Money
12. Hell Patrol
13. Rockhard
14. Faster Than the Speed of Light
15. Wiped Out
16. Break the Chain
17. Read All About It
18. Firepower
19. Athletic Rock
20. Run Silent, Run Deep

"The Devils Carrion" was a compilation of early Raven material released after Raven had separated from independent Neat Records and signed with major label, Atlantic Records. The cheaply assembled package contains a good overview of the band's first three album, and a few songs off their EPs. "The Ballad of Marshall Stack" was a nice inclusion. Unfortunately the packaging isn't much to speak of. The double record set is wrapped in a gatefold cover. The front cover image is repeated on the inside spread, with the addition of a black raven sitting on the skull. There are not band photos, biography or anything else to speak of. I suppose the record company released this as a way to cash in on the band's growing popularity at the time.

Stay Hard
Raven - Stay Hard
(Mayhem) 1985

1. "Stay Hard" (2:59)
2. "When the Going Gets Tough" (3:34)
3. "On and On" (3:54)
4. "Get It Right" (4:49)
5. "Restless Child" (2:45)
6. "Power and Glory" (3:37)
7. "Pray for the Sun" (4:22)
8. "Hard Ride" (3:15)
9. "Extract the Action" (3:04)
10. "Bottom Line" [instrumental]
11. "Gimme Just a Little" (3:56)
12. "Do or Die" (4:00)

Autographed LP cover.

"Pray for the Sun" 12" single

Raven 1986
John Gallagher (bass/vocals), Rob "Wacko" Hunter (drums)
& Mark Gallagher (guitars)

Raven promo photo
"Stay Hard" 8x10 promo photo

"Stay Hard" was Raven's major label debut. "Stay Hard" is a transition album, taking Raven into more commercial territory for the first time, yet somehow it still rocks heavy and manages to retain the Raven sound. Much of the commercial appeal has to do with producer Michael Wagener who gives the band a much cleaner sound than their first three studio albums. Those all albums all have a raw, primitive and live feel that isn't present here. Part of the charm of those early Raven albums was that raw-to-the-bone sound.

"Hard Ride" is a rewritten, re-recorded version of the song off the band's landmark debut complete with new blazing solos. "Extract the Action" is an excellent and heavy song and definitely one of the highlights of this collection of songs. The instrumental "Bottom Line" is a cool song as well, but includes a horn section, which is quite bizarre for Raven. The title track is a mid-paced hooky anthem. The entire album is actually solid, despite the more commercial feel. Though "Stay Hard" is leaps and bounds better than the disc that would follow it, but no where near as important an album as any of it's predecessors.

The Pack is Back Raven - The Pack Is Back (Mayhem) 1986

1. "The Pack is Back" (3:43)
2. "Gimme Some Lovin'" (3:14)
3. "Screamin' Down The House" (4:00)
4. "Young Blood" (3:24)
5. "Hyperactive" (3:41)
6. "Rock Dogs" (4:00)
7. "Don't Let It Die" (3:47)
8. "Get Into Your Car" (3:54)
9. "All I Want" (3:34)
10. "Nightmare Ride" (3:38)
11. "How Did You Get So Crazy" (3:50)
12. "See It On TV" (4:07)

If didn't know any better and someone had played "Pack Is Back" for me and told me it was Raven, I would not have believed them. This is not the mighty metal machine that gave us such manic metal classics as "Wiped Out" and "Rock Til You Drop". "Hyperactive" may very well be the worst song Raven has ever recorded and features a horn section. "Gimme Some Lovin'" is a Spencer Davis Group cover and has scary resemblance to The Knacks "My Sharona." This song features synth guitars not unlike Priest's "Turbo". "Youngblood" starts off with a cool riff that sound like Raven but is completely destroyed by horns and a synth solo. YIKES! Likewise "Don't Let it Die" features a horn section that is totally out of character for Raven. Just about the entire album is forced, happy, schlock rock. This may have worked for a band like Def Leppard, but for Raven it was a disaster. Fans of the band's manic metal style turned away in droves. There were a few songs that were decent like "Nightmare Ride" and "Rock Dogs", but even these songs are drug into the ground by the glossy production. Raven were such a unique band with their own sound and style that were drug into the ground by a clueless label. Oddly enough, "Pack is Back" was produced by studio legend Eddie Kramer who had worked miracles with Kiss and Jimi Hendrix, among others. According to John Gallager, "Eddie was pushed (by Atlantic Records) to make it even more commercial..so it was done & Atlantic basically did zilch to promote it….thanks a lot!"

You know it's funny though, I have read countless reviews that state that Raven are posers because of this album. Granted, they look like Twisted Sister in hockey gear and the music is cartoon anthems, but it's not terrible either. I'd still rather listen to this than a laughable song like "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard. Alice Cooper had his "new age" period, Kiss added disco influences in the early 80's, Accept had their pop-metal "Eat the Heat" and Judas Priest had a similar commercial sellout, "Turbo", yet nobody dismisses these bands as worthless. I'm almost positive it was the big label pressure of Sony/Atlantic that had everything to do with Raven's sound change on "Pack Is Back". For some reason, big labels tend to destroy good metal. It's just an observation, but I think Raven have redeemed themselves from this fiasco over and over.

Raven 1986 promo
"Pack is Back" 5x7 promo photo

Mark Gallagher 1986

Raven 1986
Mark & John Gallagher 1986

Mad EP Raven - Mad (Atlantic) 1986

1. "Speed of the Reflex" (5:01)
2. "Do Or Die" (3:57)
3. "How Did You Get So Crazy" (3:45)
4. "Seen It On T.V." (4:06)
5. "Ginne Just A Little" (3:56)

I've had a few people inform me that I am missing the "Mad" EP. Unfortunately, as far as I know, it was never released on a single CD, but all of the songs have been released on CD. "Speed Of The Reflex" is a bonus track on Mayhem Recordīs re-release of "Lifeīs A Bitch". "Do Or Die" & "Gimme Just A Little" were released as bonus tracks on "Stay Hard" and "How Did Ya Get So Crazy" & "See It On TV" on "The Pack Is Back." That's the whole "Mad" EP right there! So while I do not have the EP on a single disc, I do have all the songs off that disc split on three CDs and I also have the original vinyl version. If they ever do release this EP I will still buy it to round out the collection.

As far as the music is concerned, the Mad EP was most certainly Raven's attempt to recapture the fast and furious metal mayhem of their past. For the most part they succeeded. As a matter of fact, "Speed of the Reflex" is one of the band's finest songs ever.

About this EP, John Gallagher had this to say:
"(We were) licking our wounds after the Pack is Back promo nightmare...we decided to do what WE wanted..and to celebrate & tie in with an upcoming tour with Twisted Sister (which unfortunately was cancelled!) we did this EP. "Speed of the reflex" is still a killer song...also "Gimme just a little"...some good live pix from the Judas Priest 1986 tour are on the original sleeve...mark had kidney stones as we were mixing and was stretchered out of the studio...ugh!!" -John Gallagher

Raven - Life's A Bitch
(Mayhem) 1987

1. "Savage and the Hungry" (3:47)
2. "Pick Your Window" (3:29)
3. "Life's a Bitch" (3:47)
4. "Never Forgive" (4:38)
5. "Iron League" (3:21)
6. "On the Wings of an Eagle" (6:35)
7. "Overload" (4:18)
8. "You're a Liar" (2:39)
9. "Fuel to the Fire" (3:43)
10. "Only the Strong Survive" (3:45)
11. "Juggernaut" (5:08)
12. "Playing with the Razor" (3:21)
13. "Finger on the Trigger" (3:34)
14. "Speed of the Reflex" (5:03)

Life's A Bitch
"Life's A Bitch" Mexican import LP

John Gallagher 1987

By this point Raven had gotten the glam/commercial metal bug out of their systems and returned to making real heavy metal! Gone are the synth guitars, the pop metal leanings, the horn section, the bubble gum and everything else about "Pack Is Back" that made it so wretched. "Savage and the Hungry", "Iron League", "Wings of an Eagle" and "Overload" are all metal barnstormers! "Life's A Bitch" is a return to form and should have put Raven back on the metal map in '87. "Life's A Bitch" was a return to form. Unfortunately, because of their bad decision in direction on "Pack Is Back", they lost momentum BIG TIME, their fan base diminished and this record sold poorly. Raven were dropped from Atlantic due to "poor albums sales" soon after. Probably the best thing that ever happened to them.

My CD copy of "Life's A Bitch" is a reissue on Mayhem Records, which includes two bonus tracks, but has little in the way of liner notes or photos. Actually, the insert is a poorly printed single page. This album needs a proper re-issue like Raven's first three albums. Of the two bonus tracks, "Speed of the Reflex" is from the "Mad" EP and possibly one of the best songs that Raven had recorded while with Atlantic Records. "Finger on the Trigger" was a bonus track released on the cassette version of "Life's a Bitch."

I saw Raven around this time at the Penny Archade in Rochester, NY when they opened for Motorhead. Although it is a long story that I won't go into, I can honestly say that events at this concert changed my life.

Rare Tracks Raven - Rare Tracks (CDR compilation)

1. "Don't Need Your Money" (3:22)
2. "Wiped Out" (4:30)
3. "Hard Ride" (3:10)
4. "Crazy World" (3:57)
5. "Crash, Bang, Wallop" (3:04)
6. "Rock Hard" (3:11)
7. "Run Them Down" (2:59)
8. "Fire Power" (3:08)
9. "Break the Chain" (
10. "The Ballad of Marshall Stack" (5:36)
11. "Born to be Wild" [w/ Udo Dirkschneider] (3:28)
12. "Inquisitor" [w/ Udo Dirkschneider] (4:02)
13. "Speed of the Reflex" (5:01)
14. "Do Or Die" (3:57)
15. "How Did You Get So Crazy" (3:45)
16. "Seen It On T.V." (4:06)
17. "Gimme Just A Little" (3:56)
18. "Hold Back the Fire" (5:50)
1. "Hell On Earth" (4:57)
2. "World Comes Tumbling Down" (4:43)
3. "Stay Human" (4:32)
4. "Still Hungry" (3:47)
5. "All For One" [live] (3:52)
6. "Into the Jaws of Death" [live] (3:56)
7. "Can't Run & Hide" [live] (2:40)
8. "Lambs to the Slaughter" [live] (3:28)
9. "Hold Back the Fire" [live] (5:48)
10. "Hard Ride" [live] (3:08)
11. "Chainsaw" [live] (4:11)
12. "Into the Jaws of Death" [live] (5:35)
13. "Gimme a Break" [live] (3:29)
14. "You Gotta Screw Loose" (4:22)

EXCELLENT collection of Raven rarities. Most of these tracks have been released before, some being included as bonus tracks on the remastered CD reissues of Raven's early catalogue. The rarest tracks here are the BBC tracks. Disc One: Tracks 1-2 are from the "Don't Need Your Money" 7" single, Track 3-4 from the "Hard Ride" 7" single, tracks 5-8 from the "Crash Bang Wallop" EP, tracks 9-10 from the "Break the Chain" 7" single, tracks 9-10 from the "Born to be Wild" 7" single", tracks 13-17 from the "Mad" EP, and track 18 is from the "Wiped Out" album. Disc 2: Tracks 1-7 are from the "Heads Up" EP, tracks 8-11 from the BBC Live "Radio Hell" LP, tracks 12-13 from the Ultimate Revenge 2 compilation, and track 14 is from "Nothing Exceeds Like Excess." This compilation was put together by myself and Randy Michaud from Arizona. This compilation also has a nice booklet complete with all the information I just listed, as well as plenty of vintage photos of the band and the various album and single covers. Even the CDs are nicely printed.

The BBC tracks were given to me by Raven's John Gallagher. These tracks were originally released on a record called "Radio Hell" which was recorded live over a UK Radio One program in 1982. The original was released on vinyl by Raw Fruit and featured four songs each by Raven, Venom and Warfare. These four tunes are all excellent and sound as good as the original album recordings, probably because they too were pretty much recorded live in the studio.

Nothing Exceeds Like Excess Raven - Nothing Exceeds Like Excess (Century Media) 1988

1."Behemoth" [instrumental] (1:05)
2. "Die for Allah" (4:58)
3. "Gimme A Break" (3:19)
4. "Into the Jaws of Death" (6:08)
5. "In the Name of Our Lord" (3:46)
6. "Stick It" (3:10)
7. "Lay Down the Law" (4:45)
8. "You Gotta Screw Loose" (4:22)
9. "Thunderlord" (4:30)
10. "The King" (4:25)
11. "Hard As Nails" (5:06)
12. "Kick Your Ass" (3:18)
13. "Lay Down the Law" [live] (4:46)

Mark Gallagher, Joe Hasselvander & John Gallagher

The first album without Rob "Wacko" Hunter who apparently quit to spend more time with his new wife who was pregnant at the time of his departure. "Wacko" did go on to do some producing, including a couple of obscure thrash bands; Killjoy and Gothic Slam. Rob's replacement was Joe Hasselvander (ex-Armageddon), who has as of 1999 been with the band as long as Wacko was. Anyhow, "Nothing Exceeds" was Raven's attempt to regain the fans they lost because of their big label, commercial failures that proceeded this album. This new CD was so far removed from being commercial that, at first listen, I thought it suffered from lack of hooks. What the band focused on was playing as fast as they possibly could with John Gallagher sucking helium before he sang each and every note. (Gotta love that!) Despite my initial reaction in '88, over the years this has grown to be one of my favorite speed metal albums. My favorite track is "Into the Jaws of Death" as they slow down the pace a bit on this one. This allows for a less frantic guitar riff which in turn makes the song have a more memorable groove. There are several other stand out tracks, including "In the Name of the Lord", "Gimme a Break", "You Got a Screw Loose" and the infectious speed metal track, "Die for Allah." "Die for Allah" is yet another song that focuses on the atrocities committed by organized religions. At least this time it's not Christianity that's under fire.

This was actually the last record I bought from Raven before getting rid of all my vinyl. It was also the first Raven CD I bought as I found the original Combat Records version used for $2.91. For years this disc was out of print but 1999 saw the re-release of this disc on Century Media Records, Germany. Since I already owned the original version, I never really bothered to check out the reissue of this metal classic. However, one day I received an e-mail from John Gallagher telling me that the mastering on the original Combat issue CD was horrible, and that it would be worth my while to check out the re-mastered edition. Indeed he was right, the sound improvement is quite amazing. On top of this a live version of "Lay Down the Law" was included as a bonus track. The reissue also includes some killer live photos and short liner notes by John Gallagher. The only thing I like better about the original issue is the cover printing is far superior. The reissue is darker and muddier. The original Combat Records cover art also folded out into a Raven poster. Unfortunately the lyrics were not included with either release.

Raven also released two live tracks ("Into the Jaws of Death" & "Gimme a Break") on Combat's Ultimate Revenge 2: Soundtrack.

Architect of Fear
Raven - Architect of Fear (Steamhammer) 1991

1. "Architect of Fear Intro" [instrumental] (1:21)
2. "Architect of Fear" (4:01)
3. "Disciple" (4:03)
4. "Got the Devil" (4:39)
5. "Part of the Machine" (3:59)
6. "Under the Skin" (5:27)
7. "White Hot Anger" (5:31)
8. "Can't Run & Hide" (2:48)
9. "Blind Leading the Blind" (5:03)
10. "Relentless" (3:49)
11. "Just Let Me Go" (6:08)
12. "Heart Attack" (3:52)
13. "Sold Down the River" (3:52)

Mark Gallagher
Mark Gallagher

1991 and Raven are back to bring to the world another album chock full of earth-shattering, speed-incrusted Raven-lunacy. This is just a great disc. It's such a travesty that so many have given up on this band as they have so much life in them. Favorite tracks are the title track, "Disciple" and "White Hot Anger."

I'm not sure that this disc was ever released in the US. My copy is a German import, not unlike most of the rest of my Raven collection. I own this one on CD and vinyl.

Heads Up Raven - Heads Up (Steamhammer) 1993

1. "Hell On Earth" (4:57)
2. "World Comes Tumbling Down" (4:43)
3. "Stay Human" (4:32)
4. "Still Hungry" (3:47)
5. "All For One" [live] (3:52)
6. "Into the Jaws of Death" [live] (3:56)
7. "Can't Run & Hide" [live] (2:40)

Very nice German EP featuring four new songs and three live offerings. The new tracks are all over-the-top Raven lunacy. Great heavy metal! The live tracks are excellent as well.

There is also a Japanese version of this that supposedly has a different track listing. Will have to keep an eye out for that one. Once again, thanks to my brother of metal Olaf for hooking me up.

Mind Over Metal Raven - Mind Over Metal (Elap Music) 1993

1. "Mind Over Metal" (3:28)
2. "Faster Than the Speed of Light" (4:19)
3. "Take Control" (3:20)
4. "All For One" (3:31)
5. "To the Limit/To the Top" (7:50)
6. "'Hell Patrol" (4:37)
7. "Rock Until You Drop" (3:59)
8. "Hell Raiser/Action" (5:32)
9. "Break the Chain" (3:44)
10. "Live At The Inferno" (3:52)
11. "Bring the Hammer Down" (4:15)
12. "Star Wars" (5:32)
13. "Fire Power" (3:02)
14. "Don't Need Your Money" (3:17)
15. "Run Silent Run Deep" (5:37)
16. "Tyrant of the Airways" (7:12)

Well, what do you know, a Raven CD I had not heard of. This disc is a special release from Metal Hammer, a popular magazine in Europe. "Mind Over Metal" is a compilation of Raven's pre-Atlantic Records years. Most would say this was the band's best material, and I would not disagree. Each and every song on this compilation is 100% "Fist clenching, neck-breaking, head-busting...high power metal!" Gotta love it!

Glow Raven - Glow (SPV) 1994

1. "Watch You Drown" (4:36)
2. "Spite" (2:26)
3. "True Believer" (4:42)
4. "So Close" (4:14)
5. "Alter" (4:33)
6. "The Dark Side" (3:52)
7. "The Rocker" (3:07)
8. "Turn on You" (3:43)
9. "Far and Wide" (5:21)
10. "Victim" (3:51)
11. "Gimme A Reason" (4:02)
12. "Slip Away" (4:04)

If you read my bio on this sight, you know that n the early 1990's I lost track of what was going on in metal. Despite the fact that Raven were one of my favorite bands, I had lost track of them. After getting over my self righteous attitude about music, I began searching for the old Raven albums again. When I found out that Raven covered a Thin Lizzy tune I immediately had to find this disc. Their version of "The Rocker" is excellent, although not as over the top as their version of "Born to Be Wild" (One of the greatest cover songs ever!). To my delight, the whole disc is quite good. Much better than what I expected actually. The raw Raven heavy metal sound is back, although the production is much cleaner than their earlier albums and overall, the band has found a nice ballance of raw aggression and melody. There are a few slower songs that are actually quite good as well. I was surprised at how much I like this disc right off the band. Over the years since I purchased this CD I have listened to it quite often and it has become one of my favorites. I might even go so far as to say that this is my favorite CD from their 1990's releases.

Destroy All Monsters Raven - Destroy All Monsters-Live in Japan (Steamhammer) 1995

1. "Victim" (4:12)
2. "Live at the Inferno" (4:45)
3. "Crash! Bang! Wallop" (2:46)
4. "True Believer" (4:40)
5. "Into the Jaws of Death/Hard as Nails/Die for Allah" (9:35)
6. "Mark Gallagher guitar solo" (2:16)
7. "Speed of the Reflex/
......Run Silent, Run Deep/Mind Over Metal" (6:30)
8. "Gimme a Reason" (4:46)
9. "Inquisitor" (4:20)
10. "For the Future" (4:01)
11. "John Gallagher bass solo" (1:24)
12. "Architect of Fear" (4:56)
13. "White Hot Anger" (4:45)
14. "Joe Hasselvander drum solo" (1:34)
15 Medley: "Break the Chain/Symptom of the Universe/
......Won't Get Fooled Again/Summertime Blues/
......Break the Chain" (13:20)

John & Mark Gallagher 1995

I'm not sure I like this one as much as I like "Live at the Inferno" but I haven't lived with this one as long either, so nostalgia could be a factor in that. One thing for sure is that at times John's voice sounds a bit tired on this disc. Still the energy factor is high. The selection of songs is excellent as well. As a matter of fact, I found it interesting that Raven didn't play any of their more commercial late 80's material, but rather focused on the first three albums then skipped over to some of their excellent 90's material from "Glow" and "Architect of Fear." What is also great about this disc is that it is obviously "live" without much overdubbing or studio fixes. Every guitar squeak, rim shot, and vocal crack is there, just like you were there for the performance. Sometimes this doesn't work, depending on the band, but for Raven it works well as overpolishing usually destroys their charisma.

"Symptom of the Universe" is a Black Sabbath song, "Won't Get Fooled Again/Summertime Blues" is a tribute to the Who, although "Summertime Blues" was originally written by Jerry Capehart and Eddie Cochran.

Everything Louder Raven - Everything Louder (SPV) 1997

1. "Blind Eye" (3:50)
2. "No Pain" (3:33)
3. "Sweet Jane" (5:01)
4. "Holy Grail" (3:51)
5. "Hungry" (5:01)
6. "Insane" (4:52)
7. "Everything Louder" (5:56)
8. "???" (:29)
9. "Between the Wheels" (3:43)
10. "Losing My Mind" (3:07)
11. "Get Your Fingers Out" (3:40)
12. "Wilderness of Broken Glass" (6:06)
13. "!!!" (:13)
14. "Fingers Do the Walking" (4:06)
15. "Bonus" (1:37)
Mark Gallagher
Mark Gallagher

1997 and Raven are sounding as rabid and Raven-ous as ever! According to the liner notes, this disc was recorded live in the studio. It seems to me that Raven sound best when recorded like this. Raven's first three albums, which many consider to be their best, were all recorded this way. Raw, raunchy, back-to-basics heavy metal! I know many people have dismissed this band due to some of their more commercial recordings in the late 80's, but when a band returns to greatness, why not return to them?

The bonus track? Well this is what John Gallagher has to say on the Raven website: "the "bonus" is from a rehearsal tape i found ..every time one of us screwed up, we'd play this dumb "happy" tune...here it is along with rockabilly hell!"

Raw Tracks Raven - Raw Tracks (Massacre) 1999

1. "Firepower" -live 1984 (3:09)
2. "Don't Need Your Money" -live 1984 (3:14)
3. "Savage & Hungy" -demo 1984 (3:54)
4. "Nightmare Ride" -demo 1984 (3:39)
5. "Get It Right" -live 1985 (4:18)
6. "On & On" -live 1985 (4:01)
7. "Extract the Action" -live 1985 (4:15)
8. "Barbarian" -demo 1984 (4:23)
9. "Hot Moves" -demo 1984 (3:38)
10. "Rock Until You Drop" -live (3:47)
11. "Juggernaut" -live 1989 (4:03)
12. "Thunderlord" -live 1989 (4:30)
13. "Gimme A Break" -live 1989 (3:15)
14. "Move Over" -demo (3:14)
15. "White Hot Anger" -live (4:36)
16. "Alter" -live 1995 (4:30)
17. "Tie Your Mother Down" -live 1995 (4:00)
18. "Architect of Fear" -live (4:10)
19. "Enemy" -live (3:36)

A nice collection of demos, live cuts, and unreleased material. The sound quality is as the title suggests but is actually quite good for the most part, especially considering some of this stuff was from bootlegs. "Hot Moves" probably has the worst sound of any of the demo tracks. "Thunderlord" is the worst of the live tracks, sounding like it was recorded using a small condenser mic. Still, overall this disc is very listenable. "Tie Your Mother Down" is a loose and live Queen cover. I've said it before, but Raven are one of those bands that sound best when heard in their most raw form. That is what this disc is-Raw Raven!

Nice booklet complete with lyrics, notes about the songs, and tons of photos. "Raw Tracks" is probably the closest thing we'll ever get to a Raven box set.

One For All Raven - One For All (Metal Blade) 2000

1.   "Seven Shades" (4:13)
2.   "Double Talk" (3:29)
3.   "Roll with the Pouches" (5:21)
4.   "Get Your Motor Running" (3:36)
5.   "To Be Broken" (4:52)
6.   "Derailed" (3:44)
7.   "Hunger Inside" (4:47)
8.   "Top of the World" (3:47)
9.   "In the Line of Fire" (4:11)
10. "Kangaroo" (3:04)
11. "New Religion" (4:38)
12. "Last Ride" (4:35)

Stage used and abused pick signed by Mark and John Gallagher.

As the name suggests, "One For All" takes up where "All For One" left off and kicks as much buttox as "All For One" ever did. Raven's sound has not really changed much over the years, with the exception of a few attempts at commercialism in the mid 80's. This album was produced by Michael Wagener who has also produced such killer albums as Testament's "Low" and was also responsible for Raven's "Stay Hard". "One For All" is the first album that has been readily available in the US since they were dropped from Atlantic many years back. It's nice to have 'em back. Now I'm waiting for the tour.

Raven 2004
As of 2004 Raven finally were back in the concert halls and arerecording demos of new material. Left to right: John Gallagher, Joe Hasselvander
, and Mark Gallagher.

So, what's been up with Raven since the release of "One For All"?

We toured Europe in 2000 & did some East Coast shows (before we) started writing for the next album & then we have been sidelined since Nov. 2001 as Mark suffered a very bad accident where his legs were crushed. He has had a long, hard rehabilitation & still has some operations to go....so his health is the most important thing. The way he is, he'd get onstage & re-injure himself in about 2 minutes! Right now he's getting around with a walker/walking stick & we'll be getting together later this month (August)!

Walk Through Fire Raven - Walk Through Fire (Metal Blade) 2010

1. Intro (:52)
2. Against The Grain (3:52)
3. Breaking You Down (3:02)
4. Under Your Radar (4:05)
5. Walk Through Fire (3:20)
6. Bulldozer (3:53)
7. Long Day's Journey (4:50)
8. Trainwreck (3:34)
9. Grip (3:31)
10. Running Around In Circles (3:40)
11. Hard Road (3:45)
12. Armageddon (6:31)
13. Attitude (3:24)
14. Space Station #5 (4:01)
15. Live At The Inferno [live] (4:17)
16. Rock Until You Drop [live] (5:32)
Raven live in Italy 2006.
eft to right: John Gallagher and Mark Gallagher.

Well, it's about freakin' time! NEW RAVEN! This Raven-lunatic is excited. Ten years is a long time to wait for a new CD from one of your favorite bands, though the wait is understandable with all that happened in the Raven camp over the years. "Walk Through Fire" was originally released in March 2009 in Japan only, which was frustrating as the import price was always over $30. Thankfully, a year later, Metal Blade released the album in the U.S. and SPV/Steamhammer released the CD in Europe. What is a bit frustrating is that once again, Japan gets an exclusive track not available on the U.S. release. "Necessary Evil" was left off in favor of two live "bonus tracks". Frankly, I'd rather have the studio track.

2009 also marks the 35th anniversary of Raven, even though their first full length was released in 1981. Raven are one of the more successful NWOBHM bands. Their thrash infused heavy metal was unique from the majority of the band in the NWOBHM movement of the late 70's and early 80's. Thirty five years as a band hasn't slowed or mellowed these lunatics out one bit. After a short intro, the energy and speed builds with opening track "Against the Grain". The frenzied riffing of Mark Gallagher, the insane vocal delivery of John Gallagher and the manic drumming of longtime drummer Joe Hasselvander are all in place. No one sounds quite like them. The intensity doesn't let up with the follow-up track either. "Breaking You Down" is balls-to-the-wall heavy metal. "Under Your Radar" is double bass driven, Speed Metal 101 by one of the originators of the style. The title track continues the insanity and could very well have been included on "Nothing Exceeds Like Excess". A track titled "Bulldozer" is sure to please. I was expecting this song to be as fast and heavy as the title implies, but the song actually is a bit more of a groove based metal song, and a bit more melodic that the rest of the album. Still a killer song. The album finishes off with "Space Station #5", a Montrose cover. As would be expected, Raven totally annihilate this song and make it sound as if they themselves had written the song.

"Walk Through Fire" is 100% Raven lunacy. While the raw nature of those early recordings has been replaced by a far more modern sound, "Walk Through Fire" sounds like classic Raven.

ExtermiNation Raven - ExtermiNation (SPV) 2015

1. Intro/Destroy All Monsters (6:05)
2. Tomorrow (4:26)
3. Its Not What You Got (3:28)
4. Fight (4:04)
5. Battle March/Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)(5:27)
6. Feeding The Monster (3:51)
7. Fire Burns Within (5:00)
8. Scream (3:05)
9. One More Day (5:13)
10. Thunder Down Under (4:48)
11. No Surrender (3:54)
12. Golden Dawn [instrumental] (:53)
13. Silver Bullet (4:15)
14. River Of No Return (5:39)
15. Malice In Geordieland (3:04) 

When it was announced that Raven were doing a Kickstarter for their new album back in 2014, I was immediately on board. The last Raven album was a fantastic return to form after having been on hiatus for a decade. "ExtermiNation" comes five years after "Walk Through Fire" and sees the band making one of the best albums of their career. Seriously! This is one great heavy metal album, from the opening track through the high-intensity speed metal of "Malice in Geordieland". John Gallagher (vocals/bass), Mark Gallagher (guitars) and Joe Hasselvander (drums) are firing on all cylinders here. While it shouldn't be surprising, it is somewhat surprising to hear how vital, youthful and energetic these heavy metal geezers still are.

Raven have always been the NWOBHM band whose sound was the closest to what became known as thrash. Those first three albums were exercises in speed, and there is plenty of that on "ExtermiNation" as well. Opener “Destroy All Monsters” is the perfect example and is an up-tempo song with classic heavy metal riffing, amped up energy and over-the-top vocals from John. Songs like "Fight" and "Scream" sound like they could have been written during the band's classic NWOBHM days and are also frenzied speed metal romps. "Thunder Down Under" slows things down slightly with a bit of an AC/DC vibe. The song is simple, head-banging, fists-in-the-air, heavy metal. The song is in ode to the mighty Bon Scott. "River Of No Return" finishes the album and is a slower number. Though I hesitate to call it a ballad, that is exactly what it is done Raven-style. "Malice in Geordieland" is listed as a bonus track, but is another up-beat rocker to close out the CD.

"ExtermiNation" is an example of what good heavy metal should sound like. There are not breakdowns, nobody barking at you like an angry drill-seargant at a lazy cadet, no down-tuning to appear heavy. This is real heavy metal; heavy riffs, speedy licks, over-the-top vocals, and memorable songs.

Party Killers Raven - Party Killers (independent) 2015

1. Fireball [Deep Purple]
2. Bad Reputation [Thin Lizzy]
3. He's a Whore [Cheap Trick]
4. In For the Kill [Budgie]
5. Is There A Better Way [Status Quo]
6. Ogre Battle [Queen]
7. Queen of My Dreams [Edgar Winter]
8. Too Bad Too Sad [Nazareth]
9. Cockroach [Sweet]
10. Tak Me Bak Ome [Slade]
11. Hang On To Yourself [David Bowie]

As part of Raven's Kickstarter for "ExtermiNation", those who donated were offered as a reward this CD of all covers. Of course this was a no brainer for me. According to the press released, "A collection of some of our favorite songs, given the Raven overhaul! Party Killers will be produced in limited quantities for Kickstarter backers only on CD and vinyl." What they deliver is an excellent mix of genres all done in typical Raven metal-lunacy style. None of these covers are quite off-the-chain and over-the-top as their cover of "Born to Be Wild" from back in the day. However, Raven do add their charisma and flair to each of these classic covers. My immediate favorite cover is "In for the Kill" by Budgie. It's a classic track to begin with by a fellow English power trio. As such, the song fits Raven like a glove. Thin Lizzy's "Bad Reputation" is another excellent choice and features some killer drum work from Joe Hasselvander. Of course Lizzy's Brian Downey gave Joe plenty to work with as the original version was bad-ass as it was. "Fireball" by Deep Purple was surprising on the first listen, not because it is a bad or shocking choice, but because of how well John Gallagher sings on it. I played the song for a fellow Raven fan who asked, "is that John singing?" Indeed, and a great job he does. "Ogre Battle" is a great choice for a cover as well. Ir's one of the lesser known Queen songs and Raven nail it! There really isn't a song on here I didn't enjoy. What can I say? It's one of my favorite bands covering songs by some of my other favorite bands.

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