Oh boy, it’s been a while since I recommended some in your face, no holds barred heavy metal to you lot. But here we are today, breaking this unfortunate drought with Ravensire, a band so unapologetically “about the riff” and everything heavy metal that they called their album A Stone Engraved in Red. How awesome is that? However, not only can Ravensire “talk the talk”, they can most definitely “walk the walk”; A Stone Engraved in Red is chock full of moving, vibrato rich vocals, non-stop meaty riffs, loud drums, and powerful, evocative lyrics. Let’s dive in!

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“Carnage at Karnag” is such a good opening track because it immediately sets the mood. Following the crow-filled intro, the track immediately evokes the good ol’ Iron Maiden days, the first instrumental notes sounding like something off of Killers or The Number of the Beast. Add the prominent and agile bass into the mix, backed up by the thick drums and the comparison to those greats of heavy metal continues and favorably so. But the vocals aren’t quite Iron Maiden; instead, they draw on a deeper timbre for their punch, reminding us of contemporaries like Visigoth or Sumerland. The overall result is extremely effective, adding a personal take to the sound for Ravensire to revel in.

The rest of the album dives deeper and deeper into this initially excellent formula, hitting us with solos aplenty. There’s nothing here that’s necessarily new but you won’t necessarily care either; A Stone Engraved in Red is just that good at what it does. To quote Simon, “the album whips”. Head on over to the Bandcamp page linked above to pre-order it.