Raven wrote the book on insane and fast metal during the NWOBHM movement and have to their credit continued to record albums when many others unplugged their equipment in the face of other musical trends becoming more mainstream. This album is a follow up to 2010’s ‘Walk Through Fire’ and it follows a similar path, but enhancements in the recorded sound and inclusion of more of their classic speed ridden numbers keep the dream more than alive, its rockin’ and rollin’ and kickin’ hard for the majority of the album.
‘It’s Not What You Got’ is classic Raven, bouncy, riffy and socially applicable in terms of the lyrics. The opening track ‘Destroy All Monsters’ is a fast paced power/speed metal assault that actually reminds me of some millennium onwards Annihilator guitar runs on occasions throughout this one. The album has it all up to a point. ‘Fight’ and ‘Feeding the Monster’ are other killer tracks that hold their own amongst their extensive back catalogue, its Raven, they are unique and keep their music to themselves, it still remains true.
There are a couple of flat tracks later in the release which lowers the momentum, well, not bad ones, just not as forceful as the other ones, I’ll let you decide which ones those are. As for closing the album (which has great artwork I have to add too!), is ‘Malice in Geordieland’. I love John’s vocal phrasing, its natural Geordie and being native to that area myself, I certainly can agree with the story this track plays out and it’s nice to hear a few of the old haunts mentioned too, howay the lads!
This is definitely a step forward from its predecessor, Raven are a fun band and the music here sounds like a band who are thirty years younger, that’s not being unkind to this great trio, far from it, the album breathes youthful fun and exuberance…and if you have seen them live you know it damn good fun. ‘ExtermiNation’ is a fresh album from a trio of metal heroes never afraid to give it their all and the proof is in the pudding right here on this album.
(8/10 Paul Maddison)