Pre-Release for the Coming EP – Rebel.
By Michael Aronovitz
Ravenscroft is organizing their coming out party in a delicious unveiling process that is frankly, leaving fans breathless. While the EP in full titled Rebel does not come out until March, we have been afforded grand teasers, almost like magnificent movie trailers that wake up the world. Last month I was given the opportunity to write about Ravenscroft when they had just pre-released the two singles that initiated this buzz, and instead of coming off like advertisements, it seemed “My Dearest One” and “The Chase” were foundational, the former being one of the best melodic metal songs I had ever heard, and the latter, the type of driving tune that actually affected you in the moment, in real time, making you bold, galvanizing your backbone.
My only reservation was that I wondered if anything was left in the tank. Since the industry started cranking out rock records, we have historically (and typically) been brought to unbelievable heights with the given first track or two only to be left with what they used to call “B-side material,” or more currently what we would identify as the product of second-rate writing…weak execution…boring, predictable filler shit. Of course. Movie trailers always show you the best scenes, right? And Ravenscroft didn’t just give us one preview. They burned two! In reference to an upcoming and hotly anticipated EP slated for six compositions, how many times could they go to the well?
I should have known better than to ask such a question. I have known the singer Ralph Buso for years now, and if there was one word I had to use to describe him, it would be “authentic.” I know. Here on the page the term has a rather clinical feel, almost artless, devoid of urgency, but I would argue that it is just as important a word to affix to our friends and family, as those who would approach the world stage. For Ravenscroft does not just “make music.” This kind of craft represents our lives and souls, and trust me, Ralph Buso, Brett “Octane” Gorke, Devin Baker, and Pat Magrath take that responsibility seriously. In a world of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” it is not only refreshing to have access to artists who give us their very best. It is crucial. Personally, Ravenscroft illustrates for me, with their diversity, writing prowess, and performance skills, not only how awesome music can be, but the heights I can reach in my own journey. You know how so many claim that music is subjective? Well, bro. Some things are just universally outstanding, and I don’t need propaganda, or a “platform,” or a sales pitch to prove it. Not with this band. The music is just too damned good for all that.
In terms of promotion, you have to look at this thing and smile. The marketing aspect of music has become so complicated and competitive that bands are often judged by their ability network more than the playing itself, and damn it, you gotta just give it up for Ravenscroft. They have a six-song EP coming out in March, and their promotional angle is simply to show you the music. I can think of nothing more real or authentic than that.
The third single they just released from Rebel is the hard driving “Stand Up,” which is a whopper of an anthem piece ready to blow the doors out of stadiums and auditoriums across the globe. The video itself has the apocalyptic, Mad Max feel to it with shots less like story footage, but more, portraits of power-vignettes featuring tough guys and motorcycles. The background motif is hot asphalt and a blazing desert hardpan, while the band itself plays before a pile of junk, clearly symbolizing that our strength comes from wreckage, from recovery, from standing back up when we’ve been knocked to the ground. In terms of the hook, in the tradition of Ravenscroft, it is massive, and when Buso looks at the camera telling you to go “right down the middle” you get the feeling you just swung this mighty sledge hammer at the carnival and made the puck shoot up the tower to clang the fucking bell, denting it. In front of your girlfriend. The town bully. The wrestling coach who cut you last year. Yeah, its like that, but again, we’re talking Ravenscroft here.
To be honest, I am disappointed that the coming EP only has six tunes. While I think I have gotten across that the holistic experience is going to be superlative, almost like a treasured special edition magazine with six short stories you find yourself reading with pleasure and wonder, and over the years, love and nostalgia, I have to admit that I’m selfish. With this band, I see album, concept record, movie sound track, rock opera.
Forgive me; I’m projecting.
But Ravenscroft makes you feel realized and powerful enough to dream and dream big.
Please watch the official video of “Stand Up”
MHF Magazine/Michael Aronovitz