Raven’s Live at the Inferno (1984) is a gem in the virtual catalogue of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal

I had the tremendous pleasure to meet John Gallagher, singer, bass player, and founding member of the legendary Raven, who are well known for co-pioneering the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the 70s and 80s. Preparing for the interview, which we did for From Hero To Zero and is coming in a few weeks, I revisited most of the band’s catalogue and came across one album I didn’t know about: Live at the Inferno.

Live at the Inferno was released in 1984 and is basically a live best-of album including songs from the band’s first three albums. John writes the following about the album: “In order to preempt our old record company putting out the inevitable “greatest hits” we basically did this album live & was part of our deal in getting away from neat records… a great snapshot of what we sounded like right there on that 2nd usa tour!! back cover shot is from the roseland nyc show we did with anthrax & metallica – where all 3 bands got signed… my favorite? “let it rip”!!” (ravenlunatics.com)

The trio playing on here consists of John Gallagher (bass, vocals), Mark Gallagher (guitar), and Rob Hunter (drums), and the 81-minute long album is produced by Norman Dunn & the band. As I have mentioned in past posts, I am a fan of live albums, but expect them to ‘sound’ good, too – which often is not the case with newer live albums. Let me reassure you, Raven and Mr. Dunn did a phenomenal job back in 1984 with Live at the Inferno. John & co. have been credited to be the inventors of ‘perpetual energy’ and ‘athletic rock’, and that’s exactly what this album was able to capture, in great vintage sound quality. Songs such as ‘Rock Until You Drop’, ‘Tyrant Of the Airways’, or the title-track ‘Live at the Inferno’ portray the immense energy these gentlemen from Newcastle, England, were able to unleash onstage.

No matter if it’s a simple straight mid-tempo metal riff and groove or a double-time unisono instrumental blast, Raven rocks every second on this album. And the best part of it all is, I got to see Raven play live on few weeks ago and they were able to convey the same energy I find on Live at the Inferno. Incredible and awesome.

Get this album if you’re into good heavy metal and go see Raven live if you have the chance. They blew my face away.

Sebastiano Mereu

YouTuber + host of the #FHTZ online music show with co-producer @simonkurt + marketing & digital content producer + university lecturer