Released: 2008, SWWR Productions
Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, Ravage is a power metal band that has been shredding since 1995. In that time they have released a healthy dose of demos, LPs, and EPs, the latest of which is FREEDOM FIGHTER released by SWWR Productions in 2008. Founded by Al Ravage to be "…a raunchy heavy metal band that would sound something like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Metallica…" (from the band's official history), the band does an admirable job of living up to this goal and paying homage to their heavy metal heroes.
FREEDOM FIGHTER kicks off with a brief drum solo which leads in to the title track of the EP. It's a pretty classic-sounding heavy metal piece which sets the stage for the next five tracks, all of which are pretty traditional heavy metal tunes. There's nothing experimental on this album, it's all straight-up heavy metal complete with shredding guitars, pounding drums, and soaring vocals. While the EP is only six tracks in lengths, it provides a good feel for the band's overall quality, which is generally top-notch. It may take some time to get used to the vocals, unless you're absolutely in love with the classic Maiden-style sound, but otherwise there is nothing to complain about in regards to the musicianship or production quality of FREEDOM FIGHTER.
Rounding out the EP is a cover of Maiden's "Be Quick Or Be Dead" which cements Ravage's place a classic metal band. Of the five original tracks on the album, "Grapes of Wrath" and "Freedom Fighter" are the most enjoyable, with catchy riffs and some killer guitar solos. Only "The Shredder" is a difficult track to swallow, as the vocals just doesn't quite cut it when it comes time to really let loose.
FREEDOM FIGHTER isn't a must-have for everyone, but fans of classic heavy metal bands should definitely give it a try. There is a lot of potential and some really killer musicianship that isn't to be missed by diehard fans of this style.