The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal seems like it should be on its last leg due to father time, but bands like Raven keep having something to say about that! Metal legends, Raven rolled into Fort Worth, Texas on a Monday night to stir up as much noise as they could and succeeded with the loudest show I have been too in years! Founding members "The Gallagher Brothers" John and Mark are still as active and insane on stage as they have always have been and since have added new drummer Mike Heller from Fear Factory.
You have to wonder what keeps them going considering one time Metallica was opening for them back in 1983 on the Kill 'Em All For One Tour! But they still hit the stage and play like there is a thousand people even on nights like this when there was less than 100 in attendance. On their 40th anniversary of the album "Wiped Out" which they played in its entirety for the first time, they opened with the classic "Take Control" and went straight into "Hell Patrol". John's voice still reaches levels that dogs can hear miles away and after a couple of new songs and title track to their debut album over 4 decades ago. Mark Gallagher did a guitar solo where he looked like an escape mental patient playing guitar all over the stage with all of his crazy faces! They proceeded to play all 13 songs off Wiped Out to close the show leaving the fans wondering if this was the last time they would see them live, but Raven finds a way to keep hanging around and lucky for us that is the case.
Opening the show were Headbanger which consists of DFW Legends playing classic metal cuts from the early 80's, what a refreshing idea that is as they rip through some Maiden, Priest, Saxon, Metal Church, Holocaust and Demon among others. Local legends John Perez and Rick Perry man the guitar duties and underground stalwarts Lance Williams on drums and Pat Bohn hold down the bottom end while local radio celebrity KNON's Greg Spicoli handles the lead vocals.
Riot Act were sandwiched in between the two bands and what a treat that was. As a huge old school Riot fan it was great to hear the old songs again with original classic era guitarist Rick Ventura riffing the old classics like "Swords And Tequila," "Road Racin", "Don't Hold Back" and "Altar Of The King" as well as two new songs "Closer To The Flames" and a fan favorite, "Right Between The Eyes". New vocalist Don Chaffin killed it and sounds so much like original singer Guy Speranza, while bassist Paul Renieri and drummer Claudio Galinski rounded out the lineup.
Old school shows like this are dwindling down but Thank God some venues still have the balls to host them so kudos to The Rail Club Live and these vintage metal bands for never giving up!