Pack Is Back
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, August 25, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Early Raven fans who had followed the band from the beginning HATED this album. It was polished, over-produced, included songs with horn sections, and featured the guys in crotch-hugging spandex on the cover. It was nothing like their previous four studio albums, which featured trail-blazing raw, fast heavy metal. Dismissed by critics and reviled by fans, The Pack is Back effectively ended Raven's seemingly guaranteed ascendancy to the top of the metal world.
So, is it really that terrible? Is it just so horrible you'd as soon jam a meat thermometer in your ear than ever listen to Raven again? No. It's actually not bad. In fact, there are some pretty good songs here. The problem is the production. It's just way too slick for Raven.
But don't blame Raven. Their record label, Atlantic, pressured their producer, Eddie Kramer, to make it as commercial as possible. Raven, being starving young musicians and living in America for the first time, had little choice but to go along with the plan. They brought their fresh batch of new material into the studio only to have Kramer make them record the songs with a click-track and overdub horns and guitar synthesizers.
Next to other Raven albums, The Pack is Back stands out like a sore thumb as the least heavy. But having said that, it stands alone quite well. The title track, "Youngblood," "All I Want," and "Nightmare Ride" are timeless, well-written hard rock songs. And the cover of "Gimme Some Lovin'" does not disappoint. Another highlight is "Rock Dogs". It may be the catchiest song on the album. And "Screaming Down the House" will make you want to throw a party.
If you like catchy 80s metal/hard rock (ala Def Leppard), you can do much worse than The Pack is Back. Decide for yourself and give it a listen.
From the history I've read on the band, this album signaled their "selling out to the man" by letting a corporate mentality run how the band sounded. This happened when they moved from their native Britain to America.
I can see why fans felt the way they did, at least as far as their basic sound was concerned. However, I actually liked this album better than Wiped Out because it was more balanced with the vocals.
My problem is that like their earlier album, nothing on here rocks my boat. Though they are especially accomplished musicians, they just don't do it for me. Maybe if I saw them live (and they didn't beat me up for giving this review), I might have a different opinion. It could be that their live energy just doesn't come out on record. Then again, if I heard them live, I probably wouldn't be able to recognize any of the songs off this album anyway.
I still recommend this to metal fans as it is well done and just might be the best thing since sliced bread to you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought that Raven kicked ass, and after I heard this album I thought that they still kicked ass, a little more commercial than the previous works, but still a great metal album! Read morePublished on March 13, 2005 by Gene Stanley
Raven sucumbed to record companie's pressure and completely sold out. This is the first album of this phase, and the result is that they started to go downhill forever after this... Read morePublished on April 7, 2000 by Botnik Roller
Raven as far as I'm concerned pulled off the impossible on this one....they sold out..AND IT'S STILL GREAT! More melodic, more produced but it still rules. Read morePublished on September 8, 1999