Ravager – ‘Eradicate…Annihilate…Exterminate’ (Iron Shield Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Jonni D   
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 04:30

Ravager artworkFollowing their independent EP release last year, German thrashers Ravager are gearing up for the release of their debut album, ‘Eradicate…Annihilate…Exterminate’ through Iron Shield Records. Ravager are fast becoming a staple of their local thrash scene in Walsrode, and given the quality of the songs on offer here theirs could be a name we may be hearing a good deal more of in future.  Thanks to the immediacy and variety of the material, not to mention the competency of the musicianship across the board, it’s an album that flies past demanding repeated listens.

 

Proceedings begin with the break-neck pace of ‘Burn The Cross’ and from there the momentum rarely lets up.  The hooky opener is reminiscent of early Exodus, with a tinge of black metal influence in the tremolo picking. It’s the first of many of the instantly memorable choruses to be found on the album, with frontman Philip Herbst’s higher register vocals bearing strong similarities to Wednesday 13 and Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom. However, just as catchy are the riffs on this album. The dual guitar attack of Marcel Lehr and Dario Rosenberg is the driving force that propels these songs along with a cavalcade of endless riffs and hooks without the album ever collapsing under them.

 

‘Deathbringer’ proves to be an album highlight; an ominous mid-tempo groove with a swirling lead atop launching into a blisteringly frenetic verse. It quickly becomes apparent that the band’s influences extend well beyond traditional thrash, with this song bearing the hallmarks of early 90s death metal. Elsewhere, on ‘Human Sacrifice’ there is a strong Scandinavian vibe to the folky lead guitar melody that acts as an antiphonal recall to the vocals in the chorus. The refrain of ‘Kill for the gods!’ already hints at becoming a great anthem call in the live setting.

 

The band’s influences continue to be revealed as ‘Eradicate…’ steam rolls through its tracks. ‘Superior Forces’ recalls the sound of the melodic death metal of the Gothenburg area, while the Kreator influenced thrash moments of ‘Unknown Dreams’ are punctuated by Middle Eastern guitar motifs. However, it’s when the tone gets a little more playful that this album is an absolutely joyous listen. ‘The Walking Dead’ finds the band with tongue firmly in cheek in this ode to the art of zombie killing, featuring lyrics just on the right side of schlock – “It’s necessary to hit their heads/ the only way to make them dead”. The earlier comparison of Philip’s vocals to Wednesday 13 is none more apparent than on the shock rock of ‘Dr Mad.’ Replete with the appropriate snarl of a lost Murderdolls gem and the infectious gang vocal refrain of “No brain, no pain”, ‘Dr Mad’ is a delightful horror punk number that would bring a smile to Alice Cooper’s face.

 

 

It’s a testament to Ravager’s creativity that each of these songs is instantly memorable, and skilfully peppered with flavours from other genres, never outstaying its welcome. Confident from the outset, ‘Eradicate…Annihilate…Exterminate’ is an assured and exciting debut from a band with a hell of a lot of promise.

 

‘Eradicate…Annihilate…Exterminate’ is released on 17 February.

 

www.facebook.com/ravagerthrash/