The End Of Tomorrow
posted on 11/2009 By:
Ravage do little to suggest that their music won't be out of style, out of ideas and out of the CD player by breakfast. Ed Repka's album artwork is beautiful, but misleading and the band name feels like the last one drawn from the hat. But regardless of the fact that these Massachusett-metallers have the kind of front man who would then adopt the band name as his surname – yes you, Al Ravage - The End of Tomorrow is actually a pretty nifty little album.
The rioting instrumental opener “The Halls of Madness” sets the light-hearted thrashy tone, creating the same build up of energy and excitement that Megadeth had going on with “Dialectic Chaos” at the beginning of Endgame. Passionate, accessible riffage carries momentum over and onwards, demanding the attention of those big-hearted metal fans looking for a non-masturbatory guitarist's album.
Ignoring a nice and faithful cover of Priest's “Nightcrawler” and a fairly neolithic mess called “The Shredder,” competition for the strongest track award is fierce. “Freedom Fighter” and “Damn Nation” are obvious choices, with their fiery attacks, bombastic choruses and dynamic solos, but nestled at the end, “Grapes of Wrath” and “The End of Tomorrow” close out with same stamina and strength.
Despite releasing a few bits and bobs before, this, Ravage's second album (first on Metal Blade) will be the first most people hear of them. It's such a rarity that a young band with a big opportunity should make an album that retains its quality straight through to the final track, especially one that clocks in at 53 minutes, but The End of Tomorrow really does. It's just a damn shame there is one part that doesn't quite cut the mustard – and that's you again, Al Ravage.
The soaring Dickinson vocal melodies are a major contributing factor to the band's appeal, but their music is raw and bright and begs for a bit of balls-out vocal power, comfort and character, not just a reserved Halford-worshipper who's defining feature is being able to stay in tune. It's not a disaster, but it does put Ravage one step behind similar bands like Wolf, who are by no means more interesting, but do have a much more complete outfit. If Ravage could just iron out a few creases, they could be great.
They won't though.
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