Sound — 8
Currently touring with metal giants Iron Maiden, the guys from The Raven Age have had the opportunity to play some hefty festivals and arena shows. Of course it helps when your lead guitarist is the son of Steve Harris (bassist and co-founder of Iron Maiden) but The Raven Age has proven to be a band full of potential.
The band consists of:
- Dan Wright (co-founder, rhythm guitar)
- George Harris (co-founder, lead guitar, lyrics)
- Matt Cox (bass, backup vocals)
- Michael Burrough (lead vocals)
- Jai Patel (drums, this man is a beast)
"The Death March" for example is a song build on the all too familiar metal-gallop rhythm introduced by (for example) Iron Maiden. The calm but still genre fitting vocal style fits the instrument tones well. All songs are written/performed in Drop A# tuning.
Yeah this is a low ass tuning, many bands have proven that down tuning is not required to write a killer metal track. But The Raven Age seems to use this tuning because there are not many bands that play melodic, innovative music in this tuning. Beside, it fits Michael's voice well.
The mixing and mastering is up to standards, the guitar and drums work together really well. Jai Patel is good at what he does, his parts jump out more than once throughout the EP.
Lyrics — 7
Lyric wise The Raven Age are more mature than most bands waving the metal flag behind their "ships" (ex. Bring Me The Horizon). The only piece of lyrics I don't like are those to "Angel in Disgrace." This is a shame because the intro and verse are beefy and pack a nice punch. The chorus has a (for me) strange vocal melody, like they tried to force the words but couldn't find a fitting melody. Nevertheless a pleasant track.
The first track is "Uprising." Lyrically the song is among the same lines as "Eye Among the Blind." There's even an official online video with both songs combined. "The Death March" is about POW soldiers (as said by Michael).
"Angel in Disgrace" seems to be about a tormented soul, someone who struggles with a lack of luck, faith, love etc.
"Eye Among the Blind" is my personal favorite track, the guitar riffs aren't totally refreshing but because they're played so low they carry a new sound. Lyrically the song is about a person who seems to be the only one not swallowing everything their government and media says. "I'm the eye among the blind" being the chorus' final line.
Overall Impression — 8
The Raven Age may not be the best newcomer to the metal scene, but they definitely are among the top ones. There are always points of improvement; Michael's voice sounds dull sometimes, not a lot of change in tone height and character. But this can improve over time. I would definitely recommend this band/EP to one of my friends or a someone else who can embrace the metal/hard rock genre. Go and visit one of their shows with Iron Maiden! Or maybe a headlining show in the future. They are planning to release their full-length album AFTER they're done doing the Book of Souls world tour.