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Am I listening to 101.5 Orlando, Florida's 80's Pop station? I thought this was suppose to be a Raven album?
I am left speechless. Ever since I really started to listen to NWOBHM, Raven have always been my favorite one due to their very proto-thrash sound. Nowhere near the doom and gloom of Witchfinder General, or the satanic mischief of Venom, no Raven had all those killer metal sing-alongs and anthems that were all and all great and classic in their heyday when what was extreme was still in a very embryonic stage. Now this is not to say I was already forewarned about this album, but I had to hear for myself. I couldn't even conceive the fact that Raven would try to sell-out like whores. Well they did.
"The Pack Is Back" is in short, 80's Pop music. It barely even touches anything that would even be considered hard rock or metal. I mean Twisted Sisters is fucking thrash and Anvil is black metal compared to this. It's so damn weak and light. First and mainly why this is is the guitars; Mark Gallagher has been completely neutered here. All the great dizzying NWOBHM riffs he came up with? Forget them. Here he sounds like a reject for Def Leppard while trying to wink at Huey Lewis & the News at the same time. Listen John, if I want to listen to Huey Lewis & The News, I'll do so while reminisceting about Patrick Bateman from "American Psycho", but it is clear that your riffs don't even deserve a fresh new business card that was picked up from the printers on Friday. And yes it HAS a watermark on it, due to the fact that you have not only tinkled on your die-hard fans but the rest of your career. Oh and where the hell were John Gallager and Rob "Wacko" Hunter in when the band was going to be fitted for their corporate suit?
Outside of the cheesy song titles and the most inane lyrics, I will have to admit that "Gimme Some Lovin'" has the same Roland 707 guitar synth that can be found on Judas Priest's "Turbo Lover" but minus the speed. "Rock Dogs" is ok. I mean, you kind of hope for something that is just barely digestible but in this case, the majority of what you will find on "The Pack Is Back" is nausea-inducing.
When referring to Raven, you think of songs like "Faster Than The Speed Of Light", "Live At the Inferno", "Chainsaw", "Mind over Metal", and even "Break the Chain". You think of the days of being in the front, shaking your fist with studded leather gloves and banging your long greasy mullet....but "The Pack is Back" will want you driving an I-Roc, drink wine-coolers, and think Journey will actually get you laid. Avoid if you are a die-hard Raven fan.