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Ravage: Return Of The Spectral Rider
Ravage - Return Of The Spectral Rider CD Album Review

Ravage: Return Of The Spectral Rider

Traditional Heavy/Power Metal
4.5/5.0

The history of Boston metal band Ravage dates back to 1995 when, a few years, later they began to independently release a bunch of demos, EPs, and live recordings. Eventually, in 2005, several of those songs became part of Ravage's first full-length album Spectral Rider for Germany's Karthago Record. According to the band, the album was fraught with production flaws and, skipping to the present, they wanted to remix the album. But, alas, they did own the original unmixed tracks. What to do?

Ravage Band Photo

Ravage

Re-record the album as Return Of The Spectral Rider, do it themselves, and get it right. And they did. Considering the quality of this production, I'd hate to hear what the 2005 album sounded like. It must really suck.

While their band history dates to 1995, Ravage's heavy metal sound dates back another ten or more years. Citing influences such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Ravage plays the American side of "keep it true" melodic heavy power metal, with a side of Bay Area thrash thrown in. The band works from the fundamentals of the genre: twin guitar harmony in both riffage and an abundance of frosty leads, a vigorous sturdy rhythm section for the gallop of power metal, and Al Ravage sings melodic and clean in a true heavy metal style. All these things are wrapped up in the proper combination of melody and groove. More straight forward melodic power metal comes with songs such Curse Of Heaven, Bring Down The Hellhammer, The King Forgotten, and Spectral Rider. That last song reveals a bit of the thrash metal element, but it's more obvious in Ravage Part 1: Damage and Wake The Dead, both fast roaring numbers where the riffs are equally brisk and potent. A number of songs lead with some acoustic guitar, with Turn The Screw the most promising with its strong rock groove.

Bottom line then? If you're looking for strong guitar-driven, keep it true, melodic power metal that draws deep from the wells both the American and European traditions, then Ravage's Return Of The Spectral Rider will scratch your heavy metal itch. Up the irons! Easily recommended.



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The Bottom Line

Suffice to say, Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly and On Her Journey To The Sun is exceptional and creative melodic progressive rock, and fans of the same will enjoy this album. Easily recommended.

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