Released: 2009, SPV
Editors Note: Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any websites were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
One step forward, two steps back. After the raging comeback of ONE FOR ALL the band suffered a series of misfortunes, including family tragedies and a near fatal injury in a freak accident and the band is set back and did not record anything for almost 10 years. Any momentum they had gained was suddenly gone as the band push towards their 40th anniversary. The band was no longer on Metal Blade, the album only available on the small-ish Japanese label King Records, where they still miraculously have some staying power. Thankfully the album was reissued on SPV with a bonus as even for die-hard fans the original King Pressing was hard to find. I suppose fans could easily download WALK THROUGH FIRE by that point but true Raven fans are of an age where they understand that, not only is illegal downloading a crime, it hurts the band. For the record, I bought my copy at a Raven gig.
WALK THROUGH FIRE was a welcome surprise and after a decade on the sidelines, it is a pretty decent album, much along the lines of ONE FOR ALL. The album cover continues the bands tradition of the circular ‘power of three’, and is virtually identical to the EVERYTHING LOUDER album cover and similar to ALL FOR ONE and ONE FOR ALL. It’s nice to see the metallic, rivet logo back.
If anything, WALK THROUGH FIRE is even heavier and faster than ONE FOR ALL. I suppose they were pissed off after a long break and the songs really burn with a good energy. Check out fiery cuts, ‘Under Your Radar’, and ‘Attitude’. the drumming is fast, among some of the fastest on Raven albums. The simple, catchy songs are laced with fun energetic solos and piercing screams. WALK THROUGH FIRE has as much piss and vinegar as any of the old Raven albums, that crazy, manic energy that makes Raven such a fun listen. They still have injected a bit of the rock and roll vibe in some tracks like ‘Trainwreck’ and ‘Hard Road’. At this point it is hard for new Raven songs to compete with the old classics, but for true fans you will discover lots of good songs that can proudly be part of Raven’s catalogue.
The album ends with a cover tune, which is quite rare for Raven, a version of the old Montrose tune, ‘Space Station #5’ and the bonus track is a live version of an obscure song called ‘The King’ buried deep on their 7th album, NOTHING EXCEEDS LIKE EXCESS but there is no info where or when it was recorded. Not much of a bonus.
As I write this review it has been another half a decade since Raven recorded an album. The band was formed in 1974 so you could argue that 2014 is the bands 40th anniversary. If WALK THROUGH FIRE is to be their last album at least they went out on a high note with heads and hands held high.