Italy is an almost magical place seeding the imagery and inspiration that bands like RHAPSODY, ANTHENORA and LABYRINTH have used to launch themselves into Metal stardom. Well it has been some time since the downfall of RHAPSODY that an Italian band has blown us over with blisteringly fast riffs that bring to life the inner Metalhead within. BLACK RAVEN is relatively new band and after three years have recorded a decent length demo that will remind the listener of JUDAS PRIEST for the melody and a slower PRIMAL FEAR in the riff department.
BLACK RAVEN have recorded five different sounding tracks, each with their own character and feel. Out of the five, “Riders Of The Grave” was the single standout song with the vocals being top class, supported by simple yet effective riffs and solid drumming. Some may find the vocals to be rather lacklustre, but it’s the consistency that takes this band to the top. Most vocalists never manage to hit the same note in the choruses which lowers the feel of the album. Most Heavy Metal fans will enjoy hearing something by a band who doesn’t try to overdo themselves by trying to be progressive while adding Death elements at the beginning of each song and concluding with a massive guitar solo at the end. It rarely works. Even though “Live For Metal” is one of the most clique tracks in this genre, BLACK RAVEN’s demo shows the band’s ability and will hopefully draw some attention to this young band.
(Online November 9, 2007)