The Rebel –  Ravenscroft (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Rebel_Cover_2.jpgHaving teased us with a couple of releases from this ep, Ravenscroft now unleash the full package, and as expected it just bristles with their trademark classic rock infused sound. Over six songs  it is the perfect mission statement for a band that knows its place in music history, know where they are coming from but are more concerned with where they are going. It is a sound which matched classic rock moves with more modern alt-rock swagger and it also shows sides to them that we haven’t seen before.

Denomination kicks off the ep and this opening salvo of brutal beats and razor edged riffs pretty much tells you what sort of  world you are entering here. Theirs is a world of big ideas made into big music, hard and heavy music, music that balances melody and menace, brims with attitude and grim determination. But, they also prove that they are not a one trick pony as the inclusion of My Dearest One shows, a dexterous power ballad that builds from gentle acoustic precision into a full blown stadium rock work out of the sort that people don’t seem to write any more and this more than addresses that issue.

But for the most part, Ravenscroft are about the grit and the growl, no nonsense, straight down the line rock. Classic rock, hard rock, metal, rock…music…call it what you will but we can all agree that we are in familiar territory here. Not that it is a problem, not everything is about kicking down the barriers and exploring new pastures, some of it is about diving for pearls in familiar waters. And that is just what Ravenscroft is  all about.

Stand Up is an aggressive call to arms, The Chase is a white hot slice of melodic metal, one that doesn’t compromise on wonderful sonic detail and infectious groove but still falls on you like a ton of bricks and the title track is the perfect fist in the air anthem that will unite old fans and new followers alike. This sort of music is done often, too often really, but it is often not done well. That then is the bands selling point for whilst they are clearly playing with familiarity and comfort zones here and wearing their references very openly on their sleeve tattooed arms (presumably, I haven’t checked) they do it much better than most.

Sometimes it is enough just to re-invent the wheel especially if the wheel in question allows you to open up the throttle and take a white-knuckle joyride through the side streets and alleyways of the history of rock before unashamedly heading down the highway to follow in the tyre marks of previous iconic musical suicide machines. Or something…I’m not great with analogy.

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