Updated: Jan 29, 2020
I'm a big fan of Pavement Music artists. You never seem to know what you are going to get from one release to another. Unlike other labels, which pinhole themselves into one genre, it seems Pavement Music have left themselves open to explore a wider range of genres and artists. They just signed one of my favorite newer bands POWERMAN 5000. I can't wait for that one for sure.
That being said, I received the new album from Italy's self-proclaimed Horror Punk Metal band RAGING DEAD and their debut full-length album 'When The Night Falls'. It was released for public consumption on May 26th, 2017 and is available for purchase everywhere now (see links at the bottom of this review). I've had it in my hands a little longer though. It's been in my mobile phone rotation this whole time, for me to consume.
My experience with "Horror Punk" is limited to HAUNTED GARAGE who I got to see at a local show in support of 'Possession Park' (Metal Blade records) back in the early 90's, and our own local Saskatoon legends NEW JACOBIN CLUB. who for me, lye more on the Metal side than Punk. So, when I got RAGING DEAD and had the opportunity to review 'When Night Falls', I was excited to re-envelop myself in the Horror punk genre once again.
Sometimes, when you get something on first listen, it doesn't quite appeal to you. This was the case with RAGING DEAD. Now to be fair, I get hundreds of submissions a month across my desk here at PURE ROCK RADIO and I don't always give everything it's fair shake when it comes to listening time. I can usually tell with a quick skim-through, if it's gonna be great or not. If I did listen to every submission all the way through and over and over, I would still be listening to albums from 1999. With RAGING DEAD and many others I recently received, I add them to my phone's playlist. It took me 2 or 3 listens all through to get into RAGING DEAD for some reason or another. Maybe my current mood, maybe the drugs I am on (ha ha), but either way I now get it!
I hope others will also give things a few good listens before dismissing, or you just may miss out on something pretty great. I'll admit that I'm a fan of clean vocals and not really a big screamo, yell-o style guy. I found myself enjoying the tracks "When The Night Falls", "Within Shadow", and "Crimson Garden" (Video below) most. These 3 tracks are more melodic and less punk to me. Definitely more radio friendly if that is a thing anymore?
RAGING DEAD - "Crimson Garden" Video":
On the other hand, when I get to the end of this album, I tend to have my fill of gang backup vocals and delve straight into anything with clean (non yelling) vocals. This is probably my old-as-hell age if anything and not the fault of the band. As I mentioned, on the 2nd or 3rd listen I really started to get into this album and band. Yes, I still prefer the 3 aforementioned tracks the best, but I started getting into tracks like "Streets of Rage" (album opener). A straight ahead, punk firehouse of a tune. With it's revved up rhythm and angry, scratchy vocal, it hit home with me and my current mood. Same goes for "Bloodlust". As for "Nightstalker", "Scratch Me", and "Doomsday", I would have to say they definitely remind me of good 'ol classic punk rock! Oi Oi I say!
Aside from the punky gang backup vocal in "Army Of The Restless", it comes across to me as one of their more metal tracks on 'When the Night Falls'.
All in all, I now truly enjoy RAGING DEAD's 'When The Night Falls' album cover to cover. There is something in there for all fans of Metal and Punk Rock. If I have to say one negative thing overall about this release, I would have to say although I like it alot, the album cover art doesn't match the music inside. When looking at the front cover, it makes me think of death metal or one of the extreme metal genres. Definitely not horror punk. Many, many killer albums I picked up at my local record store were purchased solely on cover art of the album alone. For the next release, if the band truly wants to go after the Punk crowd rather than metal, I would put some serious thought into matching the cover with the music style. But that is just me.
RAGING DEAD - 'When The Night Falls' Track listing:
1) Streets Of Rage
2) When The Night Falls
3) Within Shadow
4) Army Of The Restless
7) Crimson Garden
8) Scratch Me
10) Ballad Of The Storm
Total Running Time: 40:49
RAGING DEAD is: Cloud Shade (Voice/Guitar), Matt Void (Lead Guitar), Tracii Decadence (Drums), and Simon Nightmare (Bass)
Favorite tracks: "When The Night Falls", "Within Shadow", and "Crimson Garden" Rating (out of 5 Stars): 3.5 Stars* *Note: I would have given a full 4 out of 5 if not for the fact it took me 2 or 3 listens to get it. Otherwise a solid Punk-Metal album.
Purchase: RAGING DEAD 'When the Night Comes'