In my mind there is a difference between a ‘super-group’ and an all-star project. Ravenous falls in the second category. While the five Calgary musicians who comprise the band are all stars of the Calgary scene, they are not quite at super-group status…yet.
In early 2016 the band released their debut, the four-song EP, ETERNAL HUNGER. Merely housed in a cardboard sleeve, I was assured the debut album would be the real deal. However, that is not a deal-breaker because as time goes on physical product is becoming less important and as this EP was released right around the time that HMV (the music store chain) announced they were closing over 100 locations in Canada. Maybe some fans will have an eternal hunger for CD’s by Ravenous and you might see products in a real store one day.
Ravenous is past and present members of Viathyn, Scythia, Black Pestilence and Villainizer, all of which I have reviewed on this site over the years. They have come together from their various different styled projects to make something quite special. Lead by vocalist Rav, the evil genius behind Villainizer, I must wonder if the band name ‘Rav’enous is merely a coincidence? I think not…
Ravenous sounds very different from all the other bands the guys are in, Thrash, Black Metal, Folk Metal, Prog Metal and they have all come together in the middle, namely True Metal. I spoke with Rav and he assured me the band was not about happy euro-Metal with lots of keyboards, it is much more of a straight up Power Metal sound and I agree. I’d have to agree and their Facebook page cites Sabaton as an influence and I can certainly hear that in the massive, sing-along gang-vocals. These are four straight-up, well-written classic Power Metal songs. I don’t always want to name-drop other bands but if you like Powerwolf, Dream Evil, Bloodbound, Falconer, maybe some of the more straight ahead (less folky) stuff by Tyr or Ensiferum, you will love Ravenous as much as I do. They don’t always relay on speed and happy melodies, the songs have way more grit and crunch and a sense of weight to them. Powerful stuff. Each member is among the top of their class in the Calgary scene and that technical skill translates not only into good songs but totally tight performances. They spice up the songs with some tempo changes, a hint of acoustic guitar, a keyboard line here or there, but then it is back to the serious business of unapologetic, ‘fist in the air’ Metal. Rav’s throaty roar leads the charge as he spins epic tales of battle and more.
These guys are professional, experienced, talented and serous. I’ve seen Ravenous merchandise already around town and plans for some tours are already in the works. The buzz on-line is palpable and it is a big digital ocean of Metal out there, however I feel Ravenous can swim with (and eat) the other sharks.
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