Raven was started in Newcastle, England in 1975 by brothers John and Mark Gallagher (vocals/bass and guitar respectively). Rob "Wacko" Hunter completed the line-up on drums in 1980.
Developed mostly over the first four albums, their style was a precursor to the Thrash Metal that swepped the 1980s. Their key first four albums were recorded on the famous 'Neat' label, known for its NWOBHM acts. Complete with a cover of Sweet's Hellraiser, and another noted track Action, their debut, Rock Until You Drop (1981), was a screeching and pounding slab of pure Metal that made 63 in the U.K. charts. The self-description of athletic rock was a good description for the active music it contained. The following albums, however, didn't receive the same acclaim, leaving the market success of Wiped Out (1982), All For One (1983), and their live set Live At The Inferno (1984) under utilized (Live At The Inferno, however, received at least some notoriety).
Although the albums (most especially the first) charted well, commercial success was still eluding them. So with their reputation of a stunning live performance intact, they flew to America where they sealed a deal with 'Atlantic' to release Stay Hard in 1985. Although a moderate success in their adopted territory, the album was berated by the U.K. fans who accused them of selling out and softening up by adopting a considerably more Poppier sound for the American market, most likely at the encouragement of the label; their reputation suffered a fatal blow as a result. The Pack Is Back (1986) and Life's A Bitch (1987), although confident in musical production, received the same lack of acclaim.
They then scurried off back home and signed up to the Thrash label subsidiary of 'Music For Nations', 'Under One Flag' to record Nothing Exceeds Like Excess (1989), with Joe Hasslevander taking over on drums. It received little notice. Since then, however, the band has made an attempt at returning to their roots with the latest albums of Architect Of Fear (1991), Heads Up (1993), Glow (1994), Destroy All Monsters (1995; live), Everything Louder (1997), the Raw Tracks (1999) best of compilation, andOne For All (2000). All were moderately successful but nothing in comparison to their past glory.