Raven — All Hell’s Breaking Loose (Silver Lining Music)

Fast approaching 50 years at the coalface of heavy music, Geordie duo John and Mark Gallagher prove age is no barrier to blitzing the masses.

All Hell’s Breaking Loose doesn’t only do justice to Raven’s era-bleeding back catalogue, it elevates these reliable old stagers to a dizzying new level.

And at a time when a slew of emerging NWOBHM-styled bands — at home and abroad — are seeking inspiration to carry the fight forward, All Hell’s Breaking Loose is a bone-crunching blueprint.

Incredibly, John Gallagher’s crisp shriek sounds better than ever as he cuts through brother Mark’s typically piercing axe work.

And while some of that may well be down to the wizardry within band-mate Mike Heller’s very own Heaven And Heller Studios, this is a voice born to bulldoze the senses.

John Gallagher’s generational talent for tearing through fist-pumping anthems remains undiminished.

And like a fine wine his vocal style has matured into something truly special — as crazily consistent as it is brutally confrontational.

The destructive juxtaposition of John’s trademark diction with Mark’s firebrand fretwork ensures there’s a familiar clarity pacing Raven’s latest opus.

The narrative is never overshadowed by unnecessary noise and yet All Hell’s Breaking Loose boasts some of the heaviest riffs we’ve heard all year.

Fifteen albums into a steel-plated metal career and the Gallaghers are only getting louder and faster. Long may it continue.

Raving About Raven

All Hell’s Breaking Loose isn’t short of highlights.

That lead single Go For Gold is the last song here says everything about the band’s mission to jettison fluffy filler for 100% killer.

Stick Raven’s latest on shuffle and you’ll land on a winner…every time.

Skip to the title track for a one-two punch of trad metal mayhem and punk-fuelled passion.

Or head for The Far Side where a classic NWOBHM riff jostles for position with yet another jaw-dropping John Gallagher vocal.

But if you do prefer to enjoy your albums in the traditional sense — 1-10 — then opener Medieval is no bad place to start.

Picking the perfect track to kick off a punishing record can’t have been an easy task given the breadth of quality here.

But Medieval is the most Raven song here — its trad metal roots leading back to the Marquee circa 1983 or even the Mayfair before that.

2023’s already seen bullish new records by Metallica, Overkill, Night Demon and more deliver denim and leather-clad classics for the modern era.

It’s time to add the most riotous of Raven’s post-2000 records to that list as All Hell’s Breaking Loose confirms the Gallagher brothers as the godfathers of metal’s indestructible scene.