Monday, November 24, 2014

Raven's Kickstarter Funding New Album "ExtermiNation" Entering Final Days

RAVEN - 'Party Killers' Kickstarter album cover

Raven has been cooking up not one, but two new albums for release in early 2015 - but only one of those albums will be accessible to everyone. The other is a special gift made solely for Kickstarter backers who pledge twenty dollars or more, giving us all incentive to pitch in a little more so we can get our hands on it!

You can tell how worth it your pledge will be by the sheer number of backers and the amount of money that they've raised thus far - 296 people are chomping at the bit right now in anticipation for the new goodies from Raven.

Some of the perks the band is offering for different pledge levels include vinyls, exclusive t-shirts and merch, an exclusive cover song of your choice, and even bass lessons with bassist/vocalist John Gallagher.

They are by no means an unsigned band or a new contender - they've been on the scene a long time and are much beloved of their fans. Raven now has the full support of SPV Records and their forthcoming album, ExtermiNation, will be released care of the label.

However, as we all know, the state of the record industry is shite at present (at least, as far as good music is concerned) and SPV could only partially fund the album. Being the cool cats they are, unlike other bands signed to larger labels that have had disputes over whether or not crowdfunding should be a permissible way to aid in the funding of a full-length release, they recognized that Kickstarter is an incredible tool to help fill the gaps and had no problem with Raven launching their fund. Kudos to SPV for that, and to Raven for the ingenuity to take to the funding platform.

The result will no doubt be well worth the effort for all involved. They'll be teaming up with Assembly Line Studios once again (who recorded and mastered their previous release, "Walk Through Fire") and skilled producer Kevin '131' Gutierrez to bring us this beast and expectations are running high for the new albums to contain some top-notch quality metal.

I'm willing to bet they won't disappoint!

You can still pledge and get your copy of the exclusive "Party Killers" album as well as the spankin' new full length "ExtermiNation" right here.

Raven was formed in 1974 in Newcastle, England, by brothers John Gallagher, Mark Gallagher and Paul Bowden.

Raven began creating a sound which was rooted in British hard rock, with progressive rock tendencies, and a willingness to take musical chances. The band's highly-energized live show and interaction between band members developed an image and style of play-the-band, described as "athletic". They began wearing guards, helmets, and plates from various sports (hockey, baseball, etc...), and incorporating them into the playing of their instruments (for instance, elbow pads and hockey masks were used to strike cymbals for a unique performance angle).

They also opened for punk bands the Stranglers and the Motors.

Eventually, the band signed with Neat Records, the legendary, low-budget metal label of the North. They released Rock Until You Drop in 1981, and Wiped Out in 1982, making an impressive showing on the UK charts at the time.

Sufficient noise was made for the American market to take notice and New Jersey's Megaforce Records signed them, issuing their next recording in the States as All for One in 1983. The band came stateside in 1983, and toured extensively with Megaforce bands Metallica and Anthrax, both of whom would gain a place of prominence in the growing thrash metal movement.

Manager/Megaforce founder Johnny Zazula believed that Raven was major-label material, and kept them touring constantly until the big labels noticed. The infamous Live at the Inferno recording, released in 1984, was a product of one of those tours. Atlantic Records signed Raven to a worldwide contract after a minor bidding war (major label contracts would follow for Metallica and Anthrax in the following year). The band moved its permanent base from Newcastle to New York.

Stay Hard was released in 1985, and proved a minor hit on the strength of single/video "On and On". The Atlantic years proved to be less than stellar for the band. A drastic shift in a more commercial direction came at the label's behest, with many die-hard fans being alienated by the slick, lightweight production of The Pack Is Back. However, the band recorded two more studio albums and the Mad EP before being let go by Atlantic.

After the tour for Life's a Bitch, Rob "Wacko" Hunter left the band in late 1987 to spend more time with his new wife and family. He would later pursue a career in audio production and engineering, eventually working with jazz greats Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr.

Virginian Joe Hasselvander (ex-Pentagram) joined as drummer in late 1987, and the band dropped the outlandish image for a more conventional denim-and-leather look for their 1988 release Nothing Exceeds Like Excess. After, the advent of grunge and the dissolution of their record label Combat Records led the band to concentrate on continental Europe and Japan, where they retained more of a following.

The band recorded and toured until 2001, when a wall collapsed on guitarist Mark Gallagher, crushing his legs. Raven went on hiatus for nearly 5 years, from 2001–2006, while the guitarist rehabilitated, though Raven never officially disbanded. As of 2006, Raven was touring, with a new release in the works.

Raven recently completed a UK tour in 2008 with support from British rock band Lost In Vegas.

In 2009, the band Released "Walk Through Fire" Through King Records in Japan. In 2010 the band signed with Metal Blade in the US and SPV in Europe.

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