“The concept for Exile is something we had been toying with for a while,” says vocalist Matt James. “We had done alternate acoustic style versions of songs before and the response was so positive it made us think about doing a whole album this way! Obviously, The Raven Age is first and foremost a metal band, but due to the melodic nature of our songs, they can lend themselves to this kind of treatment. We were pleasantly surprised how great so many of the songs sounded stripped back to their bare bones.”
One of the tracks that received a stripped-down makeover is 'As the World Stood Still'. The track, a derivative on 'The Day The World Stood Still' from the band’s 2019 album Conspiracy, forgoes The Raven Age’s brazen bassline and drum kicks in favour of a stripped back acoustic backing. The song takes on a vulnerable new sound, showcasing a side of the metal band that isn’t often put on display.
Exile also sees the introduction of two new tracks from the band, 'No Man’s Land' and 'Wait For Me'. The former reflects the band’s mental state in the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and the fear they – alongside so many others in the music industry – felt. Alternatively, 'Wait For Me', a velvety rock ballad, weaves a promise that despite any separation from loved ones, the ties that bind you together will bring you back eventually.
“We [were] at the stage in our careers where we rely on that momentum and buzz to keep us reaching forward, and to have the rug pulled from underneath us left us in a state of limbo where we suddenly didn't know if everything we'd built so far and worked so hard for was all for nothing,” shares James on the new tracks.
The Raven Age are as brilliantly catchy as they are deviously heavy, delicately balancing classic and modern metal influences with an alt-rock twist. Their latest opus traps lightning in a bottle and laces cinematic flavours within concrete heaviness in a way very few have done before, dragging the listener deeper and deeper inside their dark dystopian reality.
Put together as a passion project, The Raven Age’s newest album Exile breathes a new life into tracks that have already made their mark, further highlighting the band’s versatility and depth. The album's two new tracks act as a homage to current state of the world. From the height of their game in 2019 to having the rug pulled out from under them with the pandemic in 2020, Exile is the perfect bridge between what was and what is still to come.
The proof, as they say, is always in the pudding. With the success of their previous album Conspiracy reaching over 30 million streams worldwide, putting out a Top 30 Billboard Radio track, and storming UK arenas opening for Alter Bridge and Shinedown, in addition to now surviving a pandemic, The Raven Age have risen to every challenge thrown their way and look primed for metal glory. Get ready for the year of the Raven.