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Faster Than The Speed Of Light - Live At The Inferno, Destroy All Monsters, Party Killers

Review by Gary Hill

This new collection from Raven gathers up two live albums, from different decades and puts them with a CD of covers. I think that the two live albums have some moments that really shine for me. The third disc, though, puts the whole set over the top. Those live albums are solid, but that covers disc is really exceptional. I should mention that I previously reviewed the first live album as part of another box set. The track reviews here are taken or modified from that review for the sake of consistency.

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Track by Track Review
CD 1: Live at the Inferno (1984)
Intro/Live at the Inferno

Starting with some familiar classical music, this is just a short introductory piece.

Take Control
They deliver a smoking hot live version of this cut.
Mind Over Metal
The fierce metal onslaught continues with this number that feels very much like early thrash. The guitar solo segment is purely screaming.
Crash Bang Wallop
This is a no frills live song. It has some fierce energy and really rocks.
Rock Until You Drop
There are some cool little instrumental spotlights built into this. The cut has a great rock and roll meets metal and punk vibe to it.
Faster Than Speed of Light
Fast paced, meaty and quite cool, this isn't a huge change, but it rocks.
All for One
With its anthemic chorus, this works well in the live setting.
Forbidden Planet
This is a screaming electric guitar solo that has some definite science fiction leanings.
Star Wars
Pretty much what you'd expect, this is a potent live track.
Tyrant of the Airway/Run Silent Run Deep
This live two-fer is scorching hot.
Crazy World
While there is definitely a punk ethos to this thing, the guitar brings the fierce rock and metal texture to bear.
Let It Rip
This screamer really rocks in this live performance. They really do let it rip.

Here we get a cool bass guitar solo. It almost sounds like a guitar solo. It's rather neo-classical in nature, too.

Wiped Out
This is a powerhouse thrashy cut. It makes me think of early Iron Maiden. This live rendition is strong.
Fire Power
Here we get another no nonsense, straight-ahead live performance.
I Don't Need Your Money
This raw stomper is hot. It has some cool guitar soloing, too.
Break the Chain
Another straight-ahead rocker, this is particularly strong here. I dig both the guitar riffing and the vocal hooks.
Hell Patrol
More powerhouse metal is on hand here. This is seriously fierce in this live performance. There is some really intense stuff here.
Live at the Inferno
Another hot tune, they pull no punches here. It is literally a screamer and has some killer instrumental work.  The bass and guitar battle later is a highlight.
CD 2: Destroy All Monsters - Live in Japan (1995)

This comes in heavy and plodding. It quickly shifts to a more driving and frantic jam from there. This is raw and meaty. There is a dropped down drums and vocals section. This has several twists and turns, overall driving forward with NWOBHM fury.

Live at the Inferno
Coming out of the previous track, they bring driving, early Maiden-like ferocity to this. It's another scorching live song. There is a break with a bit of audience participation that gives way to a smoking hot fast-paced jam.
Crash! Bang! Wallop!
This comes appropriately crashing in. It's another raw metal screamer.
True Believer
Feeling a little less raw, this is a tasty metal grind. It's not as frantic as some of the rest, but it sure does rock.
Medley: Into the Jaws of Death - Hard As Nails - Die for Allah
I dig the mean guitar riffing that gets this underway. Other instruments add to the drama. There is a long feedback break before they shift into some doomy metal. A short drum break takes over near the half-way point. Then some incendiary guitar grabs the wheel. The cut turns a little punky as the vocals return for the "Hard As Nails" part of medley. More furious thrashy stuff is on hand for the third part.
Guitar Solo
This guitar solo is often echoey. At times it focuses on feedback and noise. At others it's about musical proficiency. This works through a number of changes. At times it rocks out more, and it gets into some almost world music zones at others. It's expressive, creative and actually pretty exceptional.
Medley: Speed of the Reflex - Run Silent, Run Deep - Mind Over Metal
Another medley, this gets underway with some take-no-prisoners metal. A dramatic and rather epic sounding mode takes over on an instrumental movement later. It gets a little proggy, perhaps like early Rush, and is apparently the second part of the medley. That gives way to a fast-paced and mean metal jam that represents the third portion of the medley. Some killer guitar soloing takes over later.
Gimme a Reason
While not a big departure, this is another hot metal screamer. It has some particularly strong guitar soloing. There is a cool rock and roll leaning segment at the end.
The riff that gets this going is particularly strong. The song drives out with fierce metal fury. This has some intriguing twists and turns. It's another tasty slab of live metal.
For the Future
There are some dramatic riffs and changes on this. It's another straight-ahead metal screamer in general.
Bass Solo / Architect of Fear
This bass solo is dramatic and powerful with some cool distortion built into the sound. The metal screamer that serves as the second part of this is on fire and quite inventive.
White Hot Anger
Furious and meaty metal is on the menu here. This is another scorcher. There are some interesting changes on this. A slow, doomy section later is a great touch. It gets fierce again before leading into the next track.
Drum Solo
I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of drum solos. There are exceptions, but this isn't one of them. It's not a bad solo at all. It's just not my thing.
Break the Chain
Complete with a call-and-response audience participation introduction, this is another hard rocking metal stomper. A bass guitar driven movement later is a cool touch. There is some more call-and-response stuff later in the track, too. There is an instrumental break later that seems like a quote of a Cheap Trick song, possibly "Need Your Love." Then the drums get a short solo with some familiar stuff. They give us a section of Black Sabbath's "Symptom of the Universe" from there. Further down they give us some "Summertime Blues." From there we're taken into "Genocide" by Judas Priest. They take it back out into the main song further down the road. That takes it to the outro to close this second disc via a bit of bombastic jamming.
CD 3: Party Killers; The Covers Album (2015)
Fireball (Deep Purple)

Feedback brings this song into being. They put in a screaming hot, furious metal take on the number. They take this through some cool twists and turns.

Bad Reputation (Thin Lizzy)
Meaner and more crunchy than Thin Lizzy, this is another killer cover version.
He's a Whore (Cheap Trick)
Cheap Trick are the hometown boys for me, so it's particularly interesting for me to hear this cover. I think they do a great job of it. It feels a little like early Maiden, but also Cheap Trick, of course.
In for the Kill (Budgie)
This works really well in this metal treatment. It's riff-driven, energized and tastefully mean.
Is There a Better Way (Status Quo)
The melodic break later in the track is a neat side-journey. Beyond that, they deliver this with plenty of power and metal textures.
Ogre Battle (Queen)
They really up the ante on this Queen stomper. It's always been a screamer. Somehow I'm reminded a little of Dio on this version. This gets some smoking hot bass work later. They work through the various twists and turns with style and power.
Queen of My Dreams (Edgar Winter Group)
This becomes a pretty straight ahead metal meets hard rocking song. It's catchy and meaty. I really like it a lot, and the guitar soloing is on fire. The fierce jam that makes up the outro is absolutely sublime.
Too Bad So Sad (Nazareth)
Nazareth rock and roll merges on this tune. It actually makes me think of Deep Purple to a large degree in this format. The vocals really sound like Ian Gillan.
Cockroach (Sweet)
This is meaty and metallic in this delivery. This also has some of that Deep Purple thing at play. The instrumental section has some jamming that makes me think of early Judas Priest.
Tak Me Bak Ome (Slade)
Mean and edgy, this stomper works really well. It's pretty fierce at times.
Hang on to Yourself (David Bowie)
Strangely enough, this feels like Sweet at times. Yet, I can make out some hints of Queen, too. Then again, Queen had a lot of Sweet in their sound, particularly early. This is another scorching hot cover version.
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