Raven – Wiped Out Review
By Adam McCann
Atlantic Record – 1982 – NWOBHM
Raven are not only criminally underrated, they are also hugely influential. The band helped push the boundaries already being laid down by Judas Priest, Motörhead and Venom with their self-proclaimed brand of athletic rock which would sow seeds of admiration with the young musicians of the burgeoning thrash and speed metal scenes. Unfortunately, the band would never receive the accolades that were showered upon their contemporaries like Diamond Head, Saxon and Iron Maiden, but the band did hit the ground running with their now legendary NWOBHM debut album ‘Rock Until You Drop’ and they would consolidate this with their follow up ‘Wiped Out’ in 1982.
‘Wiped Out’ would take the sound on Raven’s debut album and hone it, not only sharpening it and turning up the pace, but also heavy touring had gelled the band significantly more. This can be seen with how the brothers John and Mark Gallagher interact with each other as they trade bass and guitar riffs endlessly at breakneck speed throughout. Moreover, the band also show a subtle side, one that can be seen at the start of ‘To The Limit/To The Top’ as well as the beautiful acoustic piece ‘20/21’ in which John Gallagher shows he is not only a bass and vocal master, but also gives Steve Howe, Ritchie Blackmore and even Michael Schenker a run for their money. However, as tranquil and peaceful as the band can play, it is the songs that have become Raven classics which stand out the most; ‘Faster Than The Speed Of Light’, ‘Bring The Hammer Down’ and ‘Chain Saw’.
The only downside to ‘Wiped Out’ is that it is not as instantly likeable as ‘Rock Until You Drop’ or indeed the following album ‘All For One’, but after a few listens, ‘Wiped Out’ clicks and is more than happy to stay in heavy rotation, it can easily kick the ass of the debut album and even give the mighty ‘All For One’ a run for its money!
Rating : 93/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann