Much is expected from this young British band, and their debut album suggests they have what it takes to turn that expectation into a reality. The Raven Age don’t hide their influences – Trivium, Killswitch Engage and Bullet For My Valentine are among the mix – but when they get into their stride the result is irresistible. On Salem’s Fate they mix up florid guitar parts from George Harris (son of Iron Maiden’s Steve) and Dan Wright with some bulging rhythms. Both The Merciful One and My Revenge have a confident balance between melody and brute force, and Behind The Mask is a convincing metal epic. The key to the band lies with vocalist Michael Burrough. His approach can be calm, as he is on The Dying Embers Of Life, or confrontational (Trapped Within The Shadows). When he hits the heights, then the rest of the band rise to the challenge. But you also feel Michael has much more to offer.
A fine album, offering a tantalising glimpse of possible greatness to come.