Raven, "Screaming Murder Death From Above: Live in Aalborg" Album Review

Updated on March 1, 2019
FatFreddysCat profile image

I've been an obsessed hard rock/heavy metal fan and collector since the early 1980s. If it's got a good guitar riff and attitude, I'm in.


Raven, Screaming Murder Death From Above: Live in Aalborg

SPV Records, 2019

Genre: NWOBHM/traditional heavy metal

11 tracks, 54:21

For most bands, the recording of a live album requires weeks or months of careful advanced planning. They have to find the perfect venue with the best acoustics, then double and triple check the sound and balance of every microphone, amplifier, and instrument, come up with the perfect setlist, and hire the very best recording engineers to ensure they capture the ultimate live sound. Then they just have to pray that nothing goes wrong while they're onstage and the tape is rolling!

The process that led to Screaming Murder Death From Above: Live in Aalborg was much simpler for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal stalwarts of Raven. The gig captured on this new live CD was just another night on the trio's late 2017 European tour opening for former Accept frontman Udo Dirkschneider. According to the notes from the band in the CD booklet, they didn't even know this particular show in Aalborg, Denmark, had been taped till their sound man gave it to them on a flash drive weeks later. When the trio played it back, they were knocked out by the sound quality of the recording and the intensity of their performance, and so they decided that it deserved to become their first live release in more than 20 years. If you've ever been lucky enough to witness these Newcastle nutters in concert, then you know that they're a totally energetic, balls-to-the-wall live act. It's been quite a few years since my last Raven gig, but it certainly sounds like nothing has changed in that regard. It's obvious that the band and the audience were both having an absolute blast on the night that Screaming Murder Death From Above was taped.

"Hung, Drawn & Quartered"

The Songs!

The album's title comes from a lyric in the song "Destroy All Monsters," from 2015's Extermination album, which kicks off this 11 track collection in fine style. From the get-go, bassist/vocalist John Gallagher and his guitarist brother Mark show why they're still one of the tightest duos in the metal biz. John leads the charge with his muscular bass lines, working the crowd into a frenzy with his trademark high-pitched, squealing voice, while Mark pummels the audience with riff after heavy riff. These guys still have more energy onstage than most bands half their age!

Screaming Murder also serves as the recording debut of Raven's new drummer, Mike Heller, who took over for longtime basher Joe Hasselvander in 2017. Mike is a veteran of extreme metal bands like Fear Factory and Malignancy, so he's definitely qualified to keep up with the Gallagher brothers' high intensity and manic tempos.

The Aalborg set list is essentially a "greatest hits" package, leaning heavily on tracks from Raven's golden early '80s era like "Hell Patrol," "All For One," and "Rock Until You Drop," though the then-current Extermination album gets a few nods via the aforementioned "Destroy All Monsters" and "Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)." The new tunes sit comfortably next to the classic, vicious speed metal burners like "Hung, Drawn & Quartered" from 1983's All For One (a mid-set highlight), and Mark's squealing, chugging guitar solo "A.A.N.S.M.M.G.N." (no, I have no idea what all those initials stand for...). The appearance of "On And On" from 1985's mostly-maligned major label debut Stay Hard was a particularly nice deep-cut surprise for me, because that was the song that got me into Raven back in the day (and made me into a fan boy for life)!

Just as they do at every show, Raven stretches out the midsection of their classic anthem "Break The Chain" to include a bit of "whoaaaa-whoa-whoa" audience participation and a mini-cover medley/jam that features bits of AC/DC's "It's A Long Way To The Top" and Sabbath's "Symptom Of the Universe" before bringing the party to a close with a fine, frenzied rendition of "Crash Bang Wallop" that leaves the audience screaming for more. I wonder how Herr Dirkschneider must have felt about having to follow fiery performances like this one every night of the tour!

"Break The Chain"

Summing It Up

Honestly, the only way to truly experience the mayhem of a Raven live show is to catch them in person (as I have been fortunate enough to do twice in years past) but if they're not playing near you anytime soon, then a few spins of Screaming Murder Death From Above at properly ear-bleeding volume should give you a pretty close approximation of what it's like. It does my heart good to see that Raven are still out there bringing their metal to the masses, and I wish them another few decades of rocking till they drop!

RAVEN Discography:

Rock Until You Drop - Neat, 1981

Wiped Out - Neat, 1982

Crash Bang Wallop (EP) - Neat, 1982

All For One - Megaforce, 1983

Live At The Inferno - Megaforce, 1984

Stay Hard - Atlantic, 1985

The Pack is Back - Atlantic, 1986

MAD (EP) - Atlantic, 1986

Life's A Bitch - Atlantic, 1987

Nothing Exceeds Like Excess - Combat, 1988

Architect of Fear - SPV, 1991

Heads Up! (EP) - SPV, 1992

Glow - Zero Corporation, 1994

Destroy All Monsters: Live in Japan - Zero Corporation, 1995

Everything Louder - Zero Corporation, 1997

Raw Tracks - Zero Corporation, 1999

One For All - Metal Blade, 1999

Walk Through Fire - Metal Blade, 2009

Extermination - SPV, 2015

Screaming Murder Death From Above - Live In Aalborg - SPV, 2019

© 2019 Keith Abt


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)