Raven – “Wiped Out” (1982)

With their second album, Raven raised the stakes.  If you thought their debut Rock Until You Drop (1981) was a lesson in audio chaos, you ain’t heard nothing yet.  Wiped Out takes the “crash, bang, wallop” Raven sound to impossibly brazen levels.  This album is probably the most out-of-control heavy metal album of 1982.  (Seriously!)  Upon the first few listens, the insanity levels brought forth by the brothers Gallagher and drummer Rob “Wacko” Hunter scrambled my brain to a point that all I could do was throw my hands up and laugh.  Seriously, I didn’t know what to do with this.  It took several listens to sort through the debris and make sense of the disorder.  I now have come to admire, though not necessarily completely enjoy, Wiped Out.  And what’s not to admire about Raven’s unhinged adherence to the heaviest of heavy metal virtues?  Still, I choose to remain helmet-headed and at arm’s distance.  I think it has a lot to do with John Gallagher’s ear-piercing vocals.  There are, however, moments of bliss amidst the shrapnel fire, such as the epic To The Limit-To The Top (it actually has a hook!) and that massive, groin-rattling, main riff in Star War.  Buckle up for safety.  I can only imagine the mountain of cocaine these guys must have plowed through during the recording process!  My score:

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