Raven Lord- Down The Wasteland – Review

Author: Craig Matthews

Today we are looking at the Multinational super group RAVEN LORD who are taking us back to the genre that started it all – good old fashioned Heavy Metal. Formed back in 2011 by ex-KILLING MACHINE vocalist Csaba Zvekan, “Down The Wasteland” is their second full length album and features new members Lucio Manca on the bass and Garry King on the drums. Lucio is a replacement for the late bassist Craig Gruber.

Kicking off with track number one “Hail To The Gods” and straight away we are onto something good. Csaba has one of the highest vocal range’s I’ve heard; his shrieks could fry your ears and shatter glass at 500 metres! It’s exactly how you imagine old school heavy metal to sound. We’re also treated to a chunky background rhythm and savage high toned lead guitar licks. It could very easily have gone on JUDAS PREISTS’ “Painkiller”.

With a good strong start like this, I’m hopeful that RAVEN LORD would carry their momentum on throughout the album and they do keep up the rapid pace for a while with each song carrying their energy and passion, everything is going great… until we get to the half-way point of the album. Sadly that’s when the RAVEN LORD train begins to slow down and the book “Heavy Metal For Beginners” finds itself open. I first noticed this with an extended guitar solo on “Down The Wasteland” while on its own it’s fine, we all love a good shredding guitar solo, but then begins “Coming Home”. What started as a blistering attack on my ear drums ends up sounding hollow and like it wasn’t written by them but written purely in the hope of being popular.

I know it’s difficult to keep  a genre like Heavy Metal fresh, it’s been around since the 1970’s after all but I’m finding RAVEN LORD are using things that have been done over and over without change, and towards the end of the album it’s starting to sound tired. It’s beginning to sound like RAVEN LORD are just stuck in the past. This for me comes to head with “Touch The Sky” which even the lyrics sounds dated… So much so that when I first listened I thought this was a parody song! The lyrics are full of clichés and not much originality. Again it’s like it’s written just as a crowd pleaser, with none of the fire and passion from the first half of the album.

“Down The Wasteland” is really a story of two halves; the first is brilliant while the second is lacklustre. That opening track wakes you the fuck up and keeps you going for the next few songs, with RAVEN LORD’S zealous drive easy to see. Then the second half, what the fuck happened? It’s like they switched off and became as unoriginal as a cover band. I will say that there is some true musical talent here, that’s not up for dispute at all, RAVEN LORD just need to pull themselves out of the hole they seem to be stuck in in the second half of the album and have to confidence to experiment and do something new with the genre.

Rating –  3/5

Track list
1.Hail The Gods
2.Medusa The Reaper
3.New Generation
4.Down The Wasteland
5.Coming Home
6.Last Man Standing
7.Against The Wind
8.Touch The Sky
9.Gathering The Stones

Band Members
Csaba Zvekan – Vocals
Joe Stump – lead guitars
George Karafotis – guitars
Lucio Manca – bass
Garry King – drums

 

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