Over the last eighteen months, bands have had to think up all manner of ways to maximize income during the lockdown. From exclusive merch to re-issues to livestreams, all our favourite groups have managed to get creative and UK metallers The Raven Age are no different. Packaging up a couple of new tracks, four live tracks and some acoustic reworkings, Exile sees the band showing off a different side to their personality.

Opening with “No Man’s Land,” the song sums up The Raven Age and the last eighteen months’ frustration perfectly in five minutes of moody acoustics and epic hard rock. “Wait For Me” continues the format with its Alter Bridge-esque arena-rock wrapped around some gentler acoustic moments. Matching the emotionally charged words of frontman Matt James, there is something about these reworkings (and new tracks like “As The World Stood Still”) that just works while making the likes of “Fireflies” sound even more powerful and dramatic than before.

Further down the seven studio tracks, “Dying Embers” is an absolute heart wrencher of a track, while the reworking of “Fleur De Lis” results in the haunting, moody “Hold High The Fleur De Lis.” Truly magnificent, by the time you reach the end of the studio tracks, you’re left wishing that the band had reworked more of their back catalogue rather than tagging four live tracks on the end.

Not that there is anything wrong with hearing these guys pounding through thunderous versions of “Angel In Disgrace” but after hearing the beauty of the reworkings and new tracks, The Raven Age has given us a real taster of how beautifully dramatic and epic their music can be and fans will be left hoping that this isn’t the last we hear of the band taking a walk down this path.

Exile Track Listing:

1. No Man’s Land
2. Wait For Me
3. Fireflies
4. As The World Stood Still
5. A Look Behind The Mask
6. Dying Embers
7. Hold High The Fleur De Lis
8. Seventh Heaven – Live In Santiago
9. Angel In Disgrace – Live In LA
10. Surrogate – Live In Vancouver
11. Forgotten World – Live In London

Run Time: 58:14
Release Date: September 17, 2021
Record Label: EX1 Records

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.