To think that Ravens Creed have persevered as a sort of revolving-door haven for folks estranged from canned thrash reformations (Sabbat), hangers-on from briefly lively thrash reformations (Cerebral Fix), short-lived formative years (Orange Goblin), ‘ex-members of’ (Skyclad, Immortal) and complete and utterly embarrassing failures (The Clan Destined) it is some small wonder that their output has managed a consistent old school death/thrash metal style across four albums. This latest one ‘Get Killed or Try Dying’ makes no bones about it’s direction and sound as they tear into an immediate and no bullshit half hour of death/thrash in the vein of early Master, Slaughter and Death Strike.
Thirteen pissed off, gruesome and ironically sneering tracks make up that half hour and none breach the three minute mark. The result is the sort of tight, riff based thrash record that recalls the earliest days of death metal where tape was expensive and tracks were limited. Some of that growling death ‘n thrash bounce starts to lean towards hardcore influences as the record plays making for moments that recall Death Breath as much as they do early 2000’s era Discharge riffing (“Hymn & Hearse”, “Rats Beneath Our Feet”); If you’re likewise a fan of Paul Speckmann‘s work in the 80’s and early 90’s you’ll undoubtedly hear that first and foremost but if you’re familiar with Steve Watson (Iron Monkey, Cerebral Fix) you know his guitar work displays a love of many subsets of punk and metal and hits upon many textures before the album is through.
The big fuckin’ deal with Ravens Creed isn’t so much who is in the band or what bands they sound like, though. ‘Get Killed or Try Dying’ just plays like a straight up atomic waste barfing punk rock-assed death/thrash record. If you’ve ever gone to a crust show with 4-5 bands where each use every second of their fifteen minutes and they only stop to spit or drink; This fourth Ravens Creed album is more or less hanging tough on that attitude but they play late 80’s death metal. There are a few nuclear missiles here (“Sound of Sirens”, “Unrelenting Supremacy”, “Treacherous Rector” etc.) but if you’re hoping for a return to the more frantic early days of the band when Ben Ward (Orange Goblin) was vocalist, know that their sound has continued to go in a more mid-paced, heavier direction since his departure. Mostly recommended for die-hard death/thrash fans and classic thrash heads who want something up to modern standards but with an old school ethos.
|Released||August 2, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on Xtreem Music’s Bandcamp!||Follow Ravens Creed on Facebook|
|Genre||Thrash Metal, Death Metal|
Stone heart and steel nerve. 3.5/5.0
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