Featured Demo

Ravage - Curse Of Heaven

By: Eric Compton
Published: Sunday, May 4, 2003
"Curse Of Heaven"

1.Curse Of Heaven
2.Terror's Head
3.The Wasteland
4.Reign Fall
5.The Wicked Way
6.The King Forgotten

The Band
Al Firicano - Vocals
Nick Izzo - Guitar
Eli Firicano - Guitar
Phil Coyne - Drums
Jay Alfonso - Bass

Band Website
Ravage Bio

Ravage are a five piece power metal act from New England. Founded by brothers Alec & Eli Firicano in the mid-90s, the band has finally received the opportunity to record its first proper demo, "Curse Of Heaven", after years of building a loyal fanbase throughout their home state.

When I received this package in the mail, I knew very few things about the group. I thumbed through the band's bio before inserting the disc and saw that the average age of the band members was 20. I laughed to myself and thought, "yeah, plenty of 3-chord riffs here I'm sure".

When the first song kicked in, "Curse Of Heaven" became a "Gift From Heaven". The opening title track could have been lifted straight from Maiden's "Somewhere In Time" record. This song has a glorious "Wasted Years" feel to it, with plenty of mid-tempo twin guitar and vocals that are surprisingly original for this genre. No over the top Halford or Kiske falsetto here, instead Alec Firicano's voice sounds slightly similar to Maiden's ex-frontman Blaze Bailey.

The second cut, "Terror's Head" has a straight forward Floridian metal vibe to it, with pounding rhythm and plenty of great axe work from Nick Izzo and Eli Firicano. "The Wasteland" follows with a slow acoustic passage before twin guitars slice the silence, spewing forth apocalyptic lyrics over top-notch drums courtesy of skin-basher Phil Coyne. Great German guitar riffs gallop all over "Reign Fall", another solid slab of scorching metal fury. "Wicked Way" is my favorite track, storming forth like prime era Priest, mixing in some epic guitar passages with the razor sharp rhythm we have come to expect only from seasoned veterans like Helloween and Iced Earth. "The King Forgotten" closes the demo in grand fashion, showcasing yet again this band's amazing rhythm section.

This is one of the most talented bands I've heard in quite some time, including old and new bands alike. This band definitely deserves a record deal based off of this demo performance. I would love to see them get a shot at opening for Maiden on the US tour. To be this young and this damn good is quite a spectacle.

Bands like Twisted Tower Dire and Ravage in my opinion are the greatest American exports we have going today. Cheers to a bright future!

In an age of myriad forms of mindless entertainment, where a brainless pop drivel and flaccidly insipid 3 minute rock songs dominate the airwaves, few bands have the determination, the ability, the talent...the sheer guts to command an audience, to take hold of an audience and crush them mentally and spiritually and uplift them once again, soaked in ecstacy of rock revelation. At least one such band still exists. That band is the melodic heavy metal band, Ravage.

Ravage formed as far back as 1995 when 2 young brothers, inspired and driven by the glory and achievement of their heavy metal idols such as Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Danzig, and Judas Priest, decided to embark on a quest to form a metal band that would bring back the compelling power of American Metal, which had been watered down by the grunge influence of the 90s.

The brothers, singer Alec Firicano, (who came to be known as Al Ravage to band's more eccentric fans), and Eli Joe Firicano, set about refining their skills, writing songs, and all the while playing untold numbers of basement shows and parties with various line-ups backing them. By late 2000, the band had begun to forge a name in the local scene, and with the addition of second lead guitar provided a whole new dimension to the Ravage sound as the band's duel lead guitar attack wowed unsuspecting area audiences. By 2001, the band was ready to hit the local club circuit, and the players were suitably musically matured to the point where they could bring the awesome energy throughout New England, opening shows for international, national, and regionally established acts such as Lizzy Borden, The Alex Skolnick Trio, and the local Ozzy Osbourne tribute band Believer. By late 2002 Ravage began to amass a dedicated young following.

Throughout the formative years the fans had been clamoring for a recording to caputure the live excitement of the band, but only rough demos and bootlegs had surfaced. So in early 2003 the band finally entered the studio to record its first proper demo. After weeks of carving out molten melodic metal at Jaxx Traxx studios in Boston with producer Jack Fenstermaker, "Curse Of Heaven" emerged. The tracks included the dramatic fan favorite-epic-sing along "The King Forgotten", the raucous "Terror's Head", the crushing metal attack of "The Wasteland" and the melodic rocking title-track as well as two more selections from the band's endless catalogue of songs. Metal artist Matt Anderson was commissioned to craft the cover art, and the band set a self-release date of May 2003.

After completing the current line-up with the addtion of bassist Jay Alonzo and drummer Phil Coyne, the band has been preparing to take the demo to the masses live in the summer of 2003 on the club circuit while seeking label interest for the demo. The early response to selected tracks from the CD has been phenomenal and the full CD is currently being sent out in pre-release CD form for promotional purposes before the pressing is done and Ravage continues it's trek toward world domination.

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