Review: Raven - All Hell's Breaking Loose

Album Title
All Hell's Breaking Loose
Released On
Silver Lining Music

Heavy Metal is a fountain of youth. Not in the literal sense of course, but certainly regarding the longevity of the genre’s flag bearers. Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Deep Purple, and Iron Maiden still exist in some capacity. Despite knocking at death's door, the old guard refuses to give up the glory. Their enthusiasm is no doubt fueled by passion and a genuine love for the music.

The same can be said for each era of classic heavy metal, especially the bands associated with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Genre stalwarts RAVEN are among the most prolific of the crowd. The only respite in their careers came out of necessity and in 2023 they are as active as ever. All Hell’s Breaking Loose is the latest addition to their impressive resume.

The Newcastle-born Gallagher brothers are once again joined by drummer and producer Mike Heller for ten tracks of galloping full-fledged metal. “Medieval” rolls like thunder as the album’s lead-off track and sets a high-energy tone that sounds like a band half their age. The character of the trio pours through the speakers. Mark Gallagher’s riffs lead the way and when he strays to rip a solo, it’s adept, precise, and soulful as on the single “Surf The Tsunami”.

Vocals are often the first sign of decline for a veteran band, but John Gallagher has yet to suffer that affliction. He shrieks and wails all over the record, hitting the highest notes without a shrill squeak. The lyrical content is all business, but that’s okay when your profession is rock and roll. 

While the Gallagher brother’s deserve their due, the real star of the album is Heller. His drumwork is tight and flawless. It’s no wonder he is a highly accomplished session drummer in several subgenres of metal while also a member of Fear Factory and Malignancy. As previously mentioned, his contributions don’t end on the drum throne as he occupies the producer's chair as well. All Hell’s Breaking Loose has a crisp and bombastic appeal that accentuates the fella’s ability to make a classic band sound so modern.

Raven are unapologetic on how they construct and deliver classically structured songs. It doesn’t mean they are afraid to stray from verse/chorus/verse/chorus, but you can bet you’ll get a catchy hook on each track. The formula is familiar, but it’s tried and true. The three members put their all into making All Hell’s Breaking Loose an absolute joy of a listen.

Dan Craley
Gotten Out By
Dan Craley

Dan started Getting It Out back in 2018 as a stand alone podcast. He’s been writing for music websites for over a decade and finally decided to start his own. Now living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with his wife and kids, he briefly sang for Baltimore’s Pleasant Living.

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