Ravenryde - In the spirit of darkness
Ravenryde is a band from Bavaria that tells the people that they bring back the sound of the 80's, when pure rock was pure rock. Didi Saller (guitars) got his experiences from the time on when he was performing with legends of the 70's Blue Cheer. It took a long time to find the right people on his side, but in the end the band could publish now their firts full length output „In the spirit of darkness“. The line up is as follows: Andy Gmeinwieser (drums) who als perfoms with Micky Moody (ex-Whitesnake) at his live shows,Jan Nagel (keyboars), Hans Leikam (bass), Matt Joseph (vocals). Experienced and young people together..let's start the review.
It all starts with „Unholy ground“. Cool riffs in the beginning before the classical rock voice of Matt Joseph appears. Good vibes, powerful and clear. Some „oh oh oh“ in the refrain and fat rififng let the song become a real stadium rock smasher. Melodic but with a lot of power. The guitar play of Didi Saller is brilliant and he shows that in different solos during that song. Awesome start into this album.
Follow up is the title track „In the spirit of darkness“. Elegian keyboards first the song becomes a darker touch. Wow, what a refrain. Tragical, epic, slow with a great vocal performance. The whole song is slower than before, brilliant songwriting. People who dont get goose skin if listening to that song are dead. The vocals, the guitars, the music arrangements....all is perfect. A monument of song. Don't miss it to take a listen to it. Great !!!
„Skull & Bones“ is more straight. Again with a huge refrain that will be kept in your mind. The guitar riffing remembers to old Whitesnake or Saxon, but the vocals make the song unique. That means that Matt Joseph owns a special voice, that you will hear out...and thats the greatest thing that can happen to vocalists. A pleasure to listen to his timbre. Hard Rock at its best.
The sound of a motorcycle opens „Ryde with the pack“. So this has to be a faster song....and it is. Up on the highway. A hymn for bikers underlined with some keys. Fast, furious, straight. Great solo again from Saller. The drums pushing it forward. Easy listening....good !
Oriental elements in guitars and keys start „Eyes in the sky“ before a power riff appears. Some oriental vibes stay during the song. All in all it is again a straighter song, speedy but melodic. Heavy with screamed voice lines. Interrupted from a nice guitar solo the song direct hits your face. A whirlwind of rock...good to sing with again.
In „Demon“ we are back in more slow regions. Seems to be a semi-ballad. Refrain with style. Some riffing remembers to Iommi or Black Sabbath. The vocal lines are clear and full of harmonies, the refrain is dark and heavy. The band proofs their talent in various arrangements. Another great new element in the bands sound. The guitar solo in this song is definetely not from this world. The rhythm section is doing a great job. Where has this band been before?
But here it comes....the first real ballad. „If I was king“ supported by female vocals. Standing alone and in the refrain together. A piano ballad as we know it often from Hard Rock bands. A little cheesy but not the worst in this genre. Didi Saller fills it with a typical ballad solo. A song for the hearts. Take your lady and fly to the skies. Not more, but not less.
Back to rock with „Foolish dreams“. The guitars prepare you for another straight rocker. More aggressive vocals from Joseph. But melodic in every second. Not the best song so far but good enough to keep your feet moving. A short guitar sequence breaks the straightness only to bring it back stamping.
Saxon is in my mind as the band continues with „Generation zero“. Nothing really surprising in this song. Rockin' forward...with a progressive instrument part in the middle. Keepin' the standards high.
As the title promises „Hell nights“ is one of the harder tracks on this album. Good guitar hooklines tuned deeper in the beginning. Riffing dominates the whole song. Why does this song remember me sometimes to old Mötley Crüe? Maybe the refrain and the guitars. A banger for heavy rockers. Powerful with very good arrangements. Pumping drums and bass make a big wall of sound without forgettin' the harmony trademarks.
„Love will find it's way“ ends the album balladesque. Only acoustic guitars in alliance with vocals let it become a song to put the lighters in the air. Silent moments to kick you out of this album.
Ladies and gentleman....this is one of the best albums over the last years in this genre. No one who really likes good arranged and played heavy rock should miss this masterpiece.
For me the first half of the album is better than the second cause of the two ballads but in summary this album works really good listening to it. Sure...it has to be with the experience of the musicians and this means that we will hear much more of them in the future. My opinion is, that Ravenryde will be the next big thing in Hard Rock and it should be a shame if it will not. EXCELLENT !!!
Review by Kerbinator
Learn more about this band (click here)
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