The Raven Age - 'Conspiracy'

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The Raven Age - 'Conspiracy'

If you're a fan of modern Metal, you won't be disappointed.

'Conspiracy' is the second release from the young British band founded by guitarist and producer George Harris. Building on their 2017 debut 'Darkness Will Rise', the addition and performance of new vocalist Matt James appears to have brought a new dimension to the group's efforts as they've worked to diversify both their sound and their approach to song-writing.

Interest in the outfit will, perhaps inevitably, focus at least partly on the family link between George and famous dad Steve (Iron Maiden), but with 'Conspiracy' the boys have made a concerted effort to forge their own artistic, conceptual and musical identity.

The tracks themselves make much of the band's interest in historical myths and conspiracies (hence the album's title), focusing heavily on "stories of desperation and inhumanity" over different eras and periods of time. Musically, while billed as "Melodic Metal", most of what is here is loud, brash and bombastic, blending vibrant energetic Metal with classy intros and mid-section pace changes that keep song structures interesting. The dramatics are pitched just right for this style of Adventure Metal with James' vocals impressively robust throughout.



Nowhere is the group's approach better exemplified than on 'The Day The World Stood Still' – with its 'Children Of The Sea' style intro and vocal pyrotechnics – the riff-tastic 'Seventh Heaven' and eight-minute closer 'Grave Of The Fireflies'. The superior sense of melody exhibited by 'Forgotten World' and the controlled class of 'The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships' mark them out as other highlights in what is, in truth, an impressively consistent set.

'Conspiracy' is an album of fire and crackle that blends musical maturity with youthful enthusiasm; that's not a bad combination. A headline UK and European tour follows this Spring before the boys hook up with Maiden on their North and South American trek. All of which will almost certainly bring us several steps closer to the dawning of the age of the raven – or so the conspiracy theorists would have you believe. However, don't take their word for it, or mine for that matter, check them out for yourself. If you're a fan of modern Metal, you won't be disappointed.

Michael Anthony

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