The Raven Age – Conspiracy review

Feared or revered, The Raven Age is upon us 8/10The Raven Age

Formed in 2009 by guitarists Dan Wright and George Harris (son of infamous Iron Maiden bass player Steve Harris), the lineup has changed since their critically acclaimed 2016 debut album Darkness Will Rise. 2016 also saw The Raven Age support Iron Maiden for their Book Of Souls World Tour before hitting the road with Anthrax in 2017 and justifying their talent as more than nepotism. Founder Dan Wright departed to be replaced by Tony Maue and Matt James stepped up to vocal duty.

With their name derived from the ravens of the Tower of London, where myth holds that if they were to depart the Crown will fall and Britain with it, Harris has stated

“I’ve always been fascinated by the legend of the ravens of the Tower of London. The fact that the collective noun for ravens is a Conspiracy really inspired the album, the title and the artwork around it. In this fantasy world the ravens are actually being held captive at the Tower, they aren’t there of their own accord. Their wings have been clipped and they’re prisoners of the Tower to keep Britain from falling. This record develops the story with all sorts of twists and tangents.”

Consolidating the brand and conceptual identity (think ravens, think historical legends, think desperation, inhumanity and ‘gothic’) Conspiracy, the collective noun for a group of ravens is as diverse as it is inspired.

Our stage for the unfolding adventure is set by Bloom Of The Poison Seed a whimsical classical guitar opening that swells with synths and further strings. A soundscape to a blockbuster, perhaps with rolling hillsides and a somewhat celtic legend feel. The spell is broken with the galloping Betrayal Of The Mind, the second single which was inspired by mental health issues and dark thoughts. Powerful and dynamic vocals soar above an impassioned tale driven by thunderous drums and dual guitar riffery.  You can check out the official video here

Fleur De Lis the stylised lily motif associated with French heraldry and inspired by Joan of Arc follows and it is as feisty and uncompromising as the subject matter.
The Day The World Stood Still
slows the pace, but certainly not the intensity.

Stigmata opens in a thrash/ NWOBHM/ metalcore style that defies its Christian mysticism inspired title, before a surprisingly gentle bridge. Surrogate album’s debut track is a slightly more emo number, but with absolutely no disrespect intended. Seventh Heaven comes in hard, fast, groovy and brutal in an anthem which should give you wings.

Forgotten World opens with a menace and sense of danger which expands into a sense of wonderment as the song progresses. Taking influence from the legendary beauty of Helen of Troy The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships is considerably more whimsical and mellow, returning to a beautifully picked classical guitar as demonstrated on the opening track. Gently, but unabashedly the song builds into a power ballad that could potentially be as renown as the battle of Troy.

Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier is bombastic and uplifting in contrast to the subject matter, while Scimitar grooves with a hint of Eastern exoticism. Grave Of The Fireflies closes this offering in a truly epic style, based on the tragic semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, gloriously and emotively animated by Studio Ghibli. A tale of overcoming adversity, familial ties and love in the Second World War. The track is an emotional rollercoaster.

Feared or revered, The Raven Age is upon us and long may they reign.

The Raven Age Conspiracy

“Conspiracy” track listing:

  1. Bloom Of The Poison Seed
  2. Betrayal Of The Mind
  3. Fleur De Lis
  4. The Day The World Stood Still
  5. Stigmata
  6. Surrogate
  7. Seventh Heaven
  8. Forgotten World
  9. The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships
  10. Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier
  11. Scimitar
  12. Grave Of The Fireflies

Conspiracy can be purchased via independent label Corvid Records or Amazon

The Raven Age will be heading off on their UK and European headline tour in support of the album next month, before spending the summer on the road playing to thousands of people while supporting Iron Maiden in the US. released March 8th via independent label Corvid Records ahead of their UK headline tour.

HEADLINE TOUR DATES
MARCH

Wed 20th – Bristol, The Fleece
Thu 21st – Manchester, Rebellion
Sat 23rd – Newcastle, Think Tank
Sun 24th – Glasgow, Attic
Tue 26th – Leeds, Key Club
Wed 27th – Stoke, Sugarmill
Thu 28th – London, Underworld
Fri 29th – Southampton, Joiners

EUROPE – MARCH/APRIL
Sun 31st – Biebob, Vosselaar, BELGIUM
Mon 1st – La Boule Noire, Paris, FRANCE
Wed 3rd – Backstage Halle, Munich, GERMANY
Thu 4th – Colossaal, Aschaffenburg, GERMANY
Sat 6th – Luxor, Cologne, GERMANY
Sun 7th – Cassiopeia, Berlin, GERMANY
Tue 9th – Headcrash, Hamburg, GERMANY
Wed 10th – Poppodium W2, Den Bosch, HOLLAND

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