Nottingham rockers Wraith have, in some form or another, been plugging away at this music thing for around thirty years now, and Revelation is their fifth full-length album.
They used to have a bit of a reputation as heavy metal bad boys, unhinged madmen who’d nick your gear and shag your bird before making good with their legs into the rock n’roll night, but you’d never guess that from the sleek, almost airbrushed sheen of their latest release.
Ironically for a band that used to get annoyed by journalists saying they sounded American, Revelation is as ‘American’ sounding as it’s possible to be without coming from the Land of the Free, but that’s definitely a good thing in the Strickmann book. They also sound like they were cryogenically sealed in a pod in 1989 and have only just been released – also a good thing – meaning that songs like the balladic Leaving Me Again, which is a delirious mix of Def Leppard and Harem Scarem, are guaranteed to set the hair on the back of the neck standing on end if you’re over the age of forty five and an inveterate nostalgia monger.
It really is smashing stuff, all chortling aside. Long-standing guitarist Gregg Russell (who incidentally plays a blinder throughout) says that this is the ultimate Wraith releases in the press release accompanying this album, and he might just be right. Vocalist Ryan Coggin is an astounding find – if he was American he’d have fronted versions of Great White, Ratt and Warrant by now – and the all star cast assembled to help him out on backing vocals (ex Tigertailz man Steevi Jaimz and Shy alumnus Tony Mills) really make a lot of the songs here sound like a million dollars.
It’s not all balladry, thankfully, and elsewhere the band really rock it up on excellent songs like No Respect and Human Hater, often reminding this reviewer of fellow Brit hopefuls from the late eighties Marshall Law, whilst the riffy Invasion is a Brit metal classic in the making.
Bonus track Hunted is also a real ripper – do your best to get a version of the album that carries this song – and if you love that sleek late eighties metal sound so beloved of bands like Leatherwolf, Icon et al then you really do need to get this album into your collection. A revelation indeed!
Revelation will be released by Ice Rain Records on August 4th.