Red Raven - 'Chapter One: The Principles'

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Red Raven - 'Chapter One: The Principles'

I am already looking forward to 'Chapter Two'.

Red Raven were formed in Germany in 2011 and consist of powerhouse vocalist Frank Beck, guitarist Patrick Fey, bassist Martin Reichhart and drummer Sascha Waack. As 'Chapter One' is indeed the band's debut album, a little background digging was required, but came up utterly fruitless, so the pedigree of all members shall remain unknown. However it's the vocals of Beck that impress the most from the four-piece, his powerful roar the pinnacle upon which RR revolve around, with elements of Ronnie James Dio, Glenn Hughes and even Bob Catley depending on the particular song.

And it's the range of material on offer that makes RR's debut so appealing; a great blend of contemporary and old-school Metal with a few other dynamics thrown in for good measure. The riff and beat of opener 'Too Late' brings to mind Nickelback's 'Never Again' but with a more melodic chorus, then 'Planet Fear' takes the riff-heavy contemporary sound in a Progressive direction, 'Silent World Of Mine' hints at a ballad but erupts into a mid-tempo Metal anthem and 'Faraway' follows in a similar yet more Progressive vein.

'Foolsland' and 'Walls Around My Chair' veer towards Thrash territory but stay the right side of listenable, 'Famous' even throws in a little Funk, while 'If You Don't Know' is a great fist-pumping Rocker and 'Another Little While' is pure Melodic Rock. The ballads demonstrate the gentler side of RR, 'I Don't Care' is the compelling slow-burning power-ballad and 'Angel Of Your Life' is acoustic serenity with a subtle string arrangement.

The depth of the music and variety of styles means it definitely takes a few listens to get under your skin, but Red Raven have come up with a great debut effort. Personally, I am already looking forward to 'Chapter Two' ...

Ant Heeks

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