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Flannel Doc Martins and Megadeth - BUT NO RAVEN - 65%

Sigillum_Dei_Ameth, November 13th, 2009

This is NOT a bad album. Let me just make this clear. This is just another case of Raven being misdirected (again?) and trying like so many other NWOBHM and 80's traditional acts in the 90's at an attempt to look cool with the kids who were being brain-washed by MTV at the time. Up until I started to review other Raven albums I really did not know this album existed and it's probably for good reason; it doesn't even sound like Raven. It rocks hard but it's so far from what Raven are known for.

Sound production is standard and typical 90's gritty and dark and is probably the darkest that Raven has had. It almost reminds me of "Countdown To Extinction". Wait, now that I think about it, John Gallager sounds a lot like Dave Mustaine in so many parts. Mark Gallager detunes his riff that almost completely takes all the NWOBHM melodies he's known for and replaces it with hard rock riffs. At various points I am listening to the music and I am seriously questioning the band's intentions here, but again this is the same band that within a few years in the 80's they went from "Wiped out" to the Huey Lewis & the news-inspired "The Pack Is Back". History is indeed repeating itself.

"Watch You Drown" starts off the album very up-beat but starts to become very lazy sounding during the bridge. "Spite" is total 90's hard rock/grunge riffs that almost sounds like "Dirty Boots" by Sonic Youth. "Alter" has a chugging riff that I swear John Gallager is going to start singing the lyrics "Just like the pied piper, led rats through the streets" by the time the chorus comes around. "The Dark Side" is Raven on downers and trying to sound more like Megadeth. "Victim" we hear a complete goddamn Alice In Chains-influenced doom like opening and turns in a heavily distorted version of Raven's NWOBHM sound minus the intricate guitar melodies. "Gimme A Reason" just might be the only song we hear were we hear the Raven we all know and love. Just about all the other songs featured on this release is a complete hodge-podge of Raven trying to find what sound they want. Do they want Megadeth? Do they want Seattle? By the end of the album I was left looking at the floor just trying to figure out what the hell I just listened to.

While the majority of this album is what it is and it's not that much, it's still good. It's still Metal considering how Raven isn't and never was a mish-mash of grunge and mainstream 90's metal. Maybe there was a reason why Raven never mention this album. With a misdirected music, being so obscure at the time, and a laughable album cover I would only listen to this as a fan trying to see how desperate bands can be at times for success.