Certain styles are, and should remain, dead. There was a breed of melodic thrash metal, primarily propagated by Germans (a la Helloween) that should now be left to die. Now, I want to be fair, much of that music has transformed into Europower, which has some great bands in it. The style isn’t entire lost or dead, but one thing should be made clear: the bands that kept it alive are bands that did something new with it, that made it their own and that could be distinguished from the masses. None of these things actually describe Ravage or their new album The End of Tomorrow.
No, instead of giving us a delightfully updated look at 80s thrash, or NWOBHM revival while adding something personal and great to it, Ravage just rehashes what every band that has tried to do this style since the mid-80s has done. Let’s be perfectly clear: Ravage is made up of obviously talented players, but there isn’t a lick of originality in this sound or in this band. There are some good riffs and some very good solos, but for the most part this record vascilates between boredom and torture, depending on the vocalist’s “singing,” a terrible mixture of cock rock and German thrash.
That actually brings me to a point: since when does being a power metal vocalist mean sounding like shit? How is it that people got the idea that if you don’t sound like fucking UDO you’re not a good power metal vocalist? This vocalist (Al Ravage) ravages things, alright. He ravages his throat and the notes he’s supposed to be singing. Oh, and he ravages the English language with his mediocre, bordering on totally stupid, end-rhymy ridiculousness that he calls “lyrics.” This is a level poetry that should only be reserved for those English As a Second Language students who are trying to learn the language, not native speakers who should be able to have a level of sophistication above rhyming anything with “guts.” Sure, metal isn’t known for it’s lyrical sophistication, but at least in other styles the stupidity is hidden by growls instead of accentuated by an out of tune guy with a bullhorn.
Finally, a disclaimer: if you are a power metal purist who thinks that the best thing since Helloween is Gamma Ray, then you’ll probably love this album. If you’re not looking for anything more than what you’re already happy, comfortable and familiar with, then you’ll probably dig this and should buy this. But even as a fan of power metal, I have trouble with this record.
Also, the artwork is totally rad. So, kudos on that.