Raven Lord, and the kind of metal they have produced with their superb debut album, would have Jack Black going bat-shit crazy screaming “THIS. IS. METAAAAAAAAAALLLLLL” and they do indeed invoke similar kinds of feelings for me too.
They’re like a united nations of metal, musicians with hugely strong pedigrees coming together under one flag to produce a truly quintessential heavy metal album.
Album opener The Rebel introduces us to the band with a dark power metal vibe, before Csaba Zvekan rips in with vocals that are a cool mix of Andi Deris meets Russell Allen. It’s a track replete with technically impressive guitar and drum work that introduces us perfectly to what we can expect from Raven Lord.
Attila The Hun shows Zvekan’s vocals to even greater effect with Halfordesque screams and melodies, driven throughout by some sprawling riffs. It’s a delicious head-on clash of old school meets new while Let The Show Go On continues with a similar middle eastern flavour, another theme that’s particularly prevalent on the album, but reigns the pace in to concentrate on the power with some great chunky riffs.
Seal of the Cross brings to mind Dio at the height of their power and is a real metal-heads metal anthem and the album carries on in this wonderful mix of fist pumping old and new. It throws nods to not just power metal, but touches of commercial rock melodies, progressive runs, anthemic chorus and all the while providing a brilliant showcase of not just Csaba Zvekan’s versatile vocals but also the talent behind him musically.
I do have to make special note to Revelation and Metal Knights as my favourite tracks on the album. Both rip out of the starting blocks at pace and don’t relent even when the power chords ring out. Yep, quintessentially metal indeed!
Is it original? Not by any stretch of the imagination but then, to me, that never ever comes in to play and nor should it. This album reminds me perfectly why I fell in love with metal. You can’t help but get caught up in the storytelling, the musicality, the beats, the guitar work. Metal done right gets my pulse racing, the adrenaline pumping and Raven Lord manage to do that in spades with their debut album.
Any fan of metal should wrap this album around their ears. It’s a fitting reminder of why we love and why we are so fiercly proud of this genre.
Descent to the Underworld is out on Feb 1st in Europe and Feb 12th in the US through Mausoleum Records.
1. The Rebel
2. Atilla The Hun
3. Let The Show Go On
4. Seal of the Cross
5. Promised Land
6. Settle The Score
7. Black Friar
8. World Out of Steel
10. Metal Knights
11. Sun God
Raven Lord are:
Csaba Zvekan – Vocals
Joe Stump – Lead Guitars
George Karafotis – Guitar
Jamie Mallender – Bass
Lawrence “Larry” Paterson – Drums