Originally released in their Argentinian homeland last year, Rage n’Fever will now get a wider release, giving Raptore a deservedly bigger audience for their warts n’all heavy metal thunder. Hats off to German label Witches Brew for facilitating this happy state of affairs.
The basic premise of Raptore is to create a sort of early eighties feel where Euro metal and speed metal clash. It’s pretty authentic, and, if you can forgive guitar playing vocalist Nico Cattoni a few strained moments here and there, there’s a lot of fun to be had with Rn’F.
A lot of the material here is reminiscent of Canadian speed metal icons Exciter at their most accessible. Rudimentary drumming, catchy vocal refrains and spirited soloing all go to make songs such as the excellent My Own Grave real headbanging treats. This really isn’t rocket science, but there’s a lot of skill and sincerity being contributed here, which should surely be celebrated in this sometimes cold and calculated day and age.
The band really shouldn’t try a power ballad – The Flame sounds like something Tokyo Blade would have turned their collective noses at in 1983, when these sorts of things were all the rage – but even on this track it’s hard to resist the earnestness of the delivery and intent.
Much better are the sinister Evil Hand, a chugging thrasher, and the sinuous The Time Has Come, which creeps along at mid pace but which contains more great soloing and a real Megadeth feel.
Runner of Death is punkier, with some jagged riffs reminiscent of UKHC stalwarts Broken Bones, whilst closer Back to the Oven is sturdy if unremarkable.
The album ends with a couple of covers, with the band giving a peculiarly tame reading of Venom’s Witching Hour before bringing the curtain down with a spirited run through Desperadoes, originally recorded by obscure eighties UK rockers Charger.
This ain’t perfect, clearly, but fans of diehard heavy metal will get a lot out of Raptore.
Rage n’Fever is out now on Witches Brew