Raven: Mark Gallagher (vocals, guitar); John Gallagher (bass, background vocals); John Hasselvander (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Wireworld Studios, Nashville, Tennessee.
This British trio was one of the many New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands that were slowly but surely building a rabid following during the early '80s. But unlike the acts that stuck to their guns (Iron Maiden, etc.), Raven tried "sweetening" their sound/approach in hopes of crossover success, and saw it all evaporate quickly a few years later. By the late '90s, however, the Gallagher brothers (original hockey mask-wearing drummer Rob "Wacko" Hunter was long gone) were ready to get back to their original, no-holds-barred direction -- as evidenced by One for All. Hooking up once more with renowned metal producer Michael Wagener (who, along with Accept frontman Udo Dirkschneider, produced what many consider Raven's finest album, 1983's All for One), the group definitely does re-create the energy and excitement of its earlier work. In fact, you can't help but listen to such standout tracks as "Kangaroo," "Seven Shades," and "Double Talk" and wonder what would have happened if Raven released an album along these lines instead of such slip-ups as Stay Hard and The Pack Is Back back in the mid-'80s. ~ Greg Prato