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The Raven Age - Darkness Will Rise album review

Melodic metal finds some potential new heroes

Cover art for The Raven Age - Darkness Will Rise album

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.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.