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Ravenclaw - Welcome to the ravenland 3.5/5

Reviewed: 3-1-10


1. Welcome
2. Light from you
3. Power slaves
4. In to the night
5. Dragon's river
6. Patron saint
7. Brother sun
8. Eyes of the damned
9. Heaven storm
10. Deja vu
11. Don't be my enemy

Out of Slovakia, Ravenclaw introduces themselves via their full-length debut 'Welcome to the ravenland'. Its style is symphonic power metal with a few progressive parts and it has brought numerous band comparisons to mind, including Skylark, Alsion, Dark Horizon, Melodius, Dragonhammer, Heraldry, Kaledon, Gutter Sirens, Eltharia, Landguard, Crystal Castle, Magnalucius, Hyperion, Wonderland, and surely others.

The band's main vocalist is Matej Valiska, who has a high-pitched voice with an accent, and he's quite typical of a power metal vocalist. However, 4 members of this 6-member band contribute to the vocal department, so there are a lot of backing vocals. While Matej is definitely strong enough to stand alone (just check out the 2 slow songs - the beautiful track 5 "Dragon's river" and the memorable closer "Don't be my enemy"), I do think that the backing vocals increase the overall quality of the band's sound.

As you've probably guessed, keys are very much a part of the band's musical side, and for those familiar with the many bands mentioned previously as comparisons, you should know what to expect. I personally like the keys (even though they're quite upfront in the mix on occasion), as they add even more melody to an already smooth and well-written CD. Yeah, the band certainly wins in the songwriting department (especially considering this is only their debut), and they've also succeeded at obtaining a nice balance of tempo.

In the end, I can easily say that I like all of the songs on this CD and I wouldn't consider any of them to be weak. So it's a great start for the band, and is recommended to fans of the style - especially those who enjoy the better bands in my long list of comparisons.




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