Veteran British/American heavy metal trio RAVEN is putting the finishing touches on its new album for a tentative early 2019 release. The follow-up to 2015's "ExtermiNation" will mark the band's first effort with new drummer Mike Heller (FEAR FACTORY), who replaced Joe Hasselvander last year.
Speaking to Mark Taylor of Record Collector magazine before RAVEN's September 5 concert in London, bassist/vocalist John Gallagher said: "We have a new album in the can, which features this lunatic" — referring to Heller — "very heavily. We're very excited about it. It's definitely a jump forward. There's some very fast music on it, but it's very quirky and melodic at the same time, so there's a real dichotomy in that, which is always in the best RAVEN music anyway."
Added guitarist Mark Gallagher: "Actually, the record needs a little fine-tuning, some mixing, but it's pretty much done."
There are plans for RAVEN to release a live album as well, also featuring Heller behind the kit. "We were shocked when we heard the tapes," John said. "[We thought] 'Woah! This is pretty damn good.'"
Added Mark: "Live albums these days aren't really live, because there's an ability now with the technology to go in and redo stuff and fix stuff. And this record, the live album, is completely live, other than that John breaks his bass string, so we had to replace the bass on one song. But the rest of the record is completely [live] — warts and all."
"ExtermiNation" was released in April 2015 via SPV/Steamhammer.
Considered part of the "New Wave Of British Heavy Metal" movement of the early '80s, RAVEN — led by Newcastle natives/brothers John Gallagher and Mark Gallagher — is perhaps best remembered for its trailblazing tours in America in the early ’80s that gave groups like METALLICA and ANTHRAX their first taste of the road.
RAVEN's albums "Rock Until You Drop", "Wiped Out" and "All For One" virtually invented both the speed metal and power metal genres, with the band consistently pushing the envelope while retaining its unique sound and attack — both in the studio and in their true element: onstage.