Ravens Creed – “Get Killed or Try Dying” (Xtreem Music)
About as subtle as a Chieftain tank running over your balls! Rooted in grim, dirty British death metal along the lines of Bolt Thrower with dollops of Amebix, Hellhammer and Master, Ravens Creed are something of an underground super group in their own right, at one time including Sabbat’s Fraser Craske and Orange Goblin’s Big Ben Ward in their ranks. Formed in 2008 by guitarist Steve Watson (Iron Monkey, Helvis) and drummer Jay Graham (Skyclad), the current line up for this 4th hell razing skull smasher includes vocalist Al Osta (Cerebral Fix) and bassist Rod Boston (Keltic Jihad). Complete with that unmissable cynical black humor judging by the title, “Get Killed or Try Dying” is 13 tracks of war mongering brutality but bathed in class as you might expect from the veteran line up. From massive D-beat grooves to roaring battle ready riffs and artillery barrage drumming, it’s all there in abundance as the band don’t hold back, but equally with lots of meaty hooks, catchy licks and plenty of subtle but crucial nihilistic melodies, the material rises from the festering sewer from whence it came to smell well above the roses! Led by Osta’s hoarse, visceral roars, the steamroller is across tracks like ‘Rats Beneath Our Feet’ with its chopping D-beats and Motor-anarcho riffs that immediately grab you by the scruff of the neck and refuse to let go while shaking you violently. On ‘When A Deaf Man Goes Blind’ a slick opening groove heralds the bombardment of whirring guitars, booming bass and hammering beats all lacquered with a huge crust of dirt as Osta switches to a more aggressive hardcore style that few will be able to resist. Bringing the (Hell)hammer down with swaggering monster heavy bass driven grooves is ‘Death On A Rival’, completed with Osta’s dry, primordial vocals spitting out vile abuse and Watson’s down tuned savagery in all its glory – utterly brilliant. “Get Killed or Try Dying” is short, sharp and very much in the neck!