Released: 2013, SPV GmbH
Reviewer: Robert Williams
NWOBHM legends Raven have unleashed the monster sized 2 disc DVD release ROCK UNTIL YOU DROP - A LONG DAY'S JOURNEY clocking in at four hours and thirty minutes, witch archival concert footage spanning the band's thirty-plus year(s) career in heavy metal.
For starters, Disc One is a lengthy documentary chronicling the band from their earliest origins with a supporting cast of celebrity interviewees such as Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) Lars Ulrich (Metallica) Chuck Billy (Testament) Chris Jericho (Fozzy) and Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) among others. It's cool to hear first hand from Lars about the now infamous Raven/Metallica tour in support of "All For One" and "Kill Em All" respectively. The list of metal musicians interviewed for this release is even far reaching enough to include some key figures from the underground scene such as Tony Dolan (ex-Venom/Mpire Of Evil) and famed Canadian metal journalist Martin Popoff.
Some of the concert footage is not of the highest caliber (which is really to be expected for ANYTHING shot with a hand held camcorder from the eighties) however, this is a fantastic testament to what an entertaining and animated band Raven are live in concert, as they crash, bang and wallop their way into your living room, banging their heads like lunatic madmen and jumping up and down across the stage to the heavy hitting beat of their "Athletic Rock". You, the listener/viewer get such rarities as Gouda, Holland from 1982, Chicago, Illinois from 1983, Kingston, New York in 1990 and a concert filmed in Holland in 2010. The list of extras is almost too enormous to list but you also get seven extra songs, additional interview and studio footage and a photo gallery. The 2 disc DVD is housed in an expandable, cardboard digipack with career spanning photos and an accompanying booklet.
Raven was to meet a commercial fate Stateside similar to other NWOBHM band's such as Saxon and Tygers Of Pan Tang when pressure from their record label at the time eventually resulted in some sub par releases coming down the pipeline in the mid eighties. A lot of tried and true street rockers were being asked to compete with the immensely popular hard rockin' glam metal emerging from the Los Angeles scene and Raven unfortunately were no exception. Though the band would eventually reclaim their bearings as a force to be reckoned with in the pantheon of heavy metal, they were met with dwindling record sales and concert attendance and the band would pay their collective dues throughout the years as long distance runners and elder statesmen to the throne of steel. One can only hope that with this release Raven are met with the same kind of reception as Canadian metal stalwarts Anvil, who were finally awarded a great commercial reception with their "Story Of Anvil" documentary from a few years back.
I would highly recommend this package to any fan of NWOBHM or heavy metal in general. Raven and SPV have really delivered the kind of product that hardcore fans should really enjoy. It would be no easy feat to accumulate the amount of archival footage on tap with ROCK UNTIL YOU DROP - A LONG DAY'S JOURNEY even in bootleg circles. This DVD does all the footwork for you, the metal fan - and gives you a far better understanding of one of British metal's most respected and long standing institutions.