RAVENSTINE – Ravenstine (2023)
Despite its metal, ‘dark’ cover art, the upcoming self-titled debut album from RAVENSTINE is traditional hard rock inspired in the ’80s driver by sharp riffs, powerful vocals and a punchy rhythm section. As proof of the band’s sound, they do a cover of OZZY’s classic “I Don’t Know”.
Ravenstine was founded by guitarist Martin Sosna in times of the worldwide pandemic with his longtime friend bass player John A.B.C. Smith of GOD’s ARMY. Martin took John’s guitar and played a simple riff. That was the birth of their title track “Ravenstine”. They both asked their friend Hanno Kerstan (MYSTIC PROPHECY) if he’s free for jamming with them. At their first rehearsal the trio finished the next track and recorded both new songs at Eric Harings Tonstudio in Düsseldorf. The CD Single “Ravenstine” was pressed on 500 copies and it was an immediate sold out success. Ravenstine sent a few copies to different record companies and that gave them a record contract with ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records.
The album consist of robust hard rockers with that classic feeling, biting guitars, big choruses and a bright production.
Ravenstine cannot be called neither a full established band nor a side project. They are a group of friends. Martin and John know each other for more than 30 years, while vocalist Zak Tataji (BLACK DIAMOND) and second guitarist Ian O’Sullivan (GOD’S ARMY)) are friends with them for more than 2 decades. Also Hanno is a very long time friend of Martin and John.
The challenge for Ravenstine is, that they are all living in different parts of Europe. That makes the difference but they are acting as band, no matter the distance!
Anyway, with the release of the CD, their first ever show will be at Oberhausen Kulttempel and they are also booked for BALTIC OPEN AIR aud Busdorf in North of Germany. Continuously working on new songs and chasing down opportunities to play a few more shows are the band’s main goals for 2023.
The band never got a masterplan. They just started working on songs. And perhaps the magic is there; without pressures, no compromise, they do the music they like.
First song they ever wrote was “Ravenstine” and second was “Blue Light”. At the rehearsal room, Martin got a riff idea and the all-together finalized “Still Alive” pretty quickly and effortlessly. The band recorded “Blue Light” and “Ravenstine”.
At first John was singing on the tracks because it wasn’t easy to find a good singer for a band. One day, Martin asked John what happened to Zak Tataji? Is he still “alive” and if yes what he’s doing during that time? Martin and John sent a mail to him while both bit tipsy, with the files of “Ravenstine” song.
After a week Martin got a call from John who pleased him to come by his flat. Zak had sent them the song “Ravenstine” finished and they were both absolute happy with the result. The song is a crunchy metallic rocker with a very good melody.
Ravenstine are a band with 4 singers (John, Ian, Zak and Martin) and they all are satisfied that 0dayrox Zak is in the leading vocal role. He has the perfect voice for the Ravenstine songs and ideas.
”Lady Luck” is a more Seventies oriented hard rock tune, obviously, produced with a completely contemporary sound. ”Still Alive” revives a timeless Irish folk melody in a completely delirious version with primitive vocals and cool sound effects. And then suddenly it switches to a Maiden-esque number with a mind-blowing vocal performance.
Combining a very US hard rock with a very NWOBHM riff, ”Push It To The Limit” is a lot of fun and enjoyable – a kind of MÖTLEY CRUE meets JUDAS PRIEST. Crazy, and works very well.
Starting off as a good classy Rock’n’roll AC-DC style, ”Raise Your Head” quickly takes on a very melodic mid-tempo pace, something that DEF LEPPARD would have made a hit on MTV in the ’80s. Zak voice is brilliant, as the rest of the guys.
Oh, and they do two unexpected and completely convincing covers; ”I Don’t Know” (Ozzy Osbourne Cover), and
”Run Like Hell” (Pink Floyd Cover).
The aim was to record an album that feels like a good compilation of songs and that never gets boring. And they did it. These guys rock, rock hard, with melody, groove, and an ’80s spirit.
01 – Ravenstine
02 – Lady Luck
03 – Freedom Day
04 – Still Alive
05 – Shut Up And Clap!
06 – Push It To The Limit
07 – Blue Light
08 – Raise Your Head
09 – I Don’t Know (Ozzy Osbourne Cover)
10 – Run Like Hell (Pink Floyd Cover)
Zak Tataji (BLACK DIAMOND) – Vocals
Martin Sosna – Guitars
John A.B.C. Smith (GOD’S ARMY) – Bass
Ian O’Sullivan (GOD’S ARMY) – Guitars
Hanno Kerstan (MYSTIC PROPHECY) – Drums