By Albert Mansour
Receiving this new Raven CD I raised a worried eyebrow thinking that this was going to be one their Stay Hard or The Pack Is Back specials: that many things will probably be going wrong on this album. The trio has proved me wrong by possibly releasing one of their best albums in their entire career. So readers, fasten your seat belts because these NWOBHM pioneers are back with one of the hottest album of their career. Along with the outstanding bonus and the live performance tracks tacked on the end, their 12th full length studio album starts off with a helicopter whirring around during “Intro” which drifts into the second track “Against The Grain.” Strong hooks and accessible song structure throughout this song – it has a full sound, heavy guitar and catchy riffs without losing its aggressive edge. The riffs in “Breaking You Down” are pure gold and “Under Your Radar” is a perfect song. The guitar solo is amazing, it has a great harmony at the beginning, a pounding verse riff, a wonderful solo, and the strong harmony returns at the end… everything screams perfection. It is definitely the best conventional metal song ever written by Raven. The title track “Walk Through Fire” and ”Bulldozer” are both straightforward metal tunes, the latter with one of the coolest verse buildups in all of music. There is no filler here. There are tracks that were intended to be filler, but all of those are mind blowing anyway – “Long Day’s Journey”, “Trainwreck” and “Grip” are some that come to mind. “Running Around In Circles” is another stunner, just an aggressive track, the whole band locking into another one of those magic riffs. “Hard Road” has some superb soloing that is tasteful and the song is well-constructed. “Armageddon”, “Attitude” and “Necessary Evil” are typical 80s hard metal songs just with an extra dose of melodic hooks that only Raven could make. “Space Station #5”is a great Montrose Cover and two live bonus tracks “Live at the Inferno” and “Rock Until You Drop” end the album with a nod to the band’s most productive period. But that’s enough words for now. It’s time to let the metal speak for itself. So put the cd into the player, sit back and listen one of their best releases ever.