You might remember this British trio as hair metal second-stringers from the 80’s, but they actually came together in 1974. They’re at their best playing the kind of fierce hard rock that marks them out as contemporaries of Judas Priest—their proto-thrash attack is good enough to make me forgive those schlocky 80s records and the rather dumb gimmick they once used of playing in athletic gear.

Cursed with a Spinal Tap-like career trajectory, Raven almost dropped the thread altogether back in 2001, when guitarist Mark Gallagher nearly lost his legs after a wall collapsed on him. The band went on hiatus while Gallagher rehabbed, eventually regrouping to record 2010’s Walk Through Fire (Metal Blade), a hard-earned and intense return to form.

Raven 1985

Raven 2010