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Ravage Unleashes Spider on the World

Ravage Unleashes Spider on the World

Ravage Unleashes Spider on the World

RAVAGE, the traditional heavy metal rockers from Boston, Massachusetts have released Spider on the World, the band’s first album of all-new material since 2009’s The End Of Tomorrow which was released by Metal Blade Records.  The new record was mixed and mastered by Peter Rutcho who is known for his work with Revocation, Havok, Cellador, and Danny Elfman amongst others. It features the band’s signature blend of traditional metal stylings which weaves together elements of melodic, heavy, speed, power and thrash metal music.  Highwire Daze recently interviewed the long running metal collective to find out more about their massive Spider on the World endeavor, time spent on Metal Blade Records, their memorable live shows,and other raging topics!  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Ravage, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Al, the singer of Ravage. I started the band in the early 90’s when it was just me and an idea of a band and a cheap drumset. I recruited my brother Eli to play bass and he eventually switched to guitar. We played our first show in November 1996 and throughout various lineups we’ve kept things together ever since.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We are based around Boston Massachusetts USA and play our locals shows in New England (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine). The New England Scene is pretty diverse and has some good traditional heavy metal bands – power metal bands like Adamantis, Perrenial Quest, Ice Giant… speed metal band Seax… traditional metal like Kingdom of Tyrants and Iron Will… doom metal like Archdruid… we’ve played with many great local bands throughout the years that are still around… Verscythe, Ripfence, Forever’s Fallen Grace, Between Skies… lots of good bands. Too many to name.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title Spider on the World?
It’s not a concept album per se. It’s more of an old school “themed” album like “Killers” or “Master of Puppets” where it has some major lyrical themes that link the songs, but it isn’t a cohesive story. It deals mostly with the idea of how humanity is becoming inhuman and destroying itself in various ways with the abuse of new technologies… the spread of misinformation and disinformation on the internet and how we have to deal with this sort of mental and environmental pollution we are exposed to these days, and that’s all funneled through the metaphor of robotic spiders from space taking over and casting their web over the planet.

Select two songs from Spider on the World and what inspired the lyrics?
Manmade Ice Age” is a song that lyrically encapsulates a lot of the themes on the album. It’s basically talking about how, especially in the USA, political divisions have become so polarized and the animosity has been supercharged by social media and the spread of misinformation on the internet and stupid memes that people are tuning each other out and staying in their little information caves and we’ve created our own political/mental ice age where if we don’t figure out a way to get along again we are going to be consumed by external forces and global problems that require us to collaborate and come up with solutions. I think the lyrics were inspired by my experience of just seeing how crazy things were getting trying to have a civil discussion with people online during the pandemic.

Then the song “Without a Trace” has lyrics that look at the consequences of us not getting along and us allowing our environment to be ruined. It’s basically asking, “what are we going to do if we ruin our world, take a spaceship to some other planet and ruin that too?” So it’s pretty bleak.

Who produced Spider on the World and what was it like working with them?
A lot of it was recorded during the pandemic, so a lot of the band members individually recorded and engineered their own parts and then my brother Eli, who has produced albums for Seax and others started to put it all together but we ultimately sent it to Peter Rutcho to do the mixing and mastering. He mixed our “The End Of Tomorrow” album for Metal Blade Records back in 2009 and he’s just great at getting a big traditional metal sound. He’s a huge King Diamond fan and he knows how to take trad metal and make it sound modern and bombastic.

What could one expect from a live Ravage show?
We try to put on a show like the great 80’s metal acts. So, we’ve got the big drum set and the huge amps and lights and banners and stage props and just try to make everything as entertaining and high energy as possible because those are the kinds of shows we like to go to see. We’re not dressing up in spandex and teasing our hair, but short of that, everything you’d get from a classic 80’s metal show we try to squeeze into a club stage.

Has Ravage ever played here in the Los Angeles or is that something you would like to do in future days? If so, what was the experience like? 
We played a couple of shows in California on our US tour in 2009 but we had to cancel our Los Angeles show because our van broke down. And unfortunately, we haven’t gotten back to the west coast since then. If there was a festival we could get on we’d certainly like to get over there because I know we have fans in the area who’ve always wanted to see the band.

What was the experience like being signed with Metal Blade Records?
Being on Metal Blade Records for an album was great because we got the old school record label experience which doesn’t really exist anymore – we had a radio rep who promoted us on the radio and college radio… we got our CD released in actual stores… it was pretty cool. Unfortunately, it was pretty short lived, and we didn’t have a chance to put out a follow-up album, and because we had a lot of problems on the tour that followed, we ended up with a lot of debt which crippled the band for a while and essentially this album is the follow-up record that we would’ve / should’ve put out all those years ago.

Did Judas Priest ever hear or comment on your cover of The Nightcrawler from The End of Tomorrow album on Metal Blade? And what made you decide to cover that song?
I don’t know. I’m sure they are aware of it from the tiny royalty checks they would’ve received from Metal Blade but no, we never got any feedback from them. Although! Shortly after we released the album, I remember on their next tour they started playing “Nightcrawler” live for the first time in many years… so maybe they figured people out there wanted to hear that song? We did an Iron Maiden cover of the song “Be Quick or Be Dead” way back in 2008 on our “Freedom Fighter” EP and though we never heard from them either, in 2009 Bruce Dickinson did actually play our song “The Shredder” on his BBC radio show and that’s one of the coolest things that ever happened to us. Unfortunately we never heard it because we were on the road somewhere and I’ve never been able to find a recording of it. What made us cover “Nightcrawler”? I honestly don’t remember. I think we wanted to do a song off “Painkilker” because it was a favorite album of everyone’s, but aside from that I don’t know.

Next year your debut full length Spectral Rider celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Looking back on that album, what do you think of it now in retrospect?
Wow, I hadn’t realized that. That crazy. How time flies! Well, there were a ton of production issues with that album, so we ended up re-recording it and releasing it as “Return of the Spectral Rider” back in 2017 – which is already 7 years ago somehow! We always thought it had a lot of string songs, and ironically my brother Eli was going through some old cassettes recently and found a rough mix of the song “Wake the Dead” and it really sounded great. That album sadly got messed up in the mixing and mastering and remastering and remastering. It was a whole saga for another time. But I think the songs held up.

Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Ravage?
My brothers and I have a punk/ hard rock band called Ruffian Dick that released our debut album “She’s Hypnotic” recently. If you are a fan of GNR and punk check that out. Our drummer Toni has a long-running black metal project Belchior, and we have a long-running traditional metal band Iron Will which released a full-length concept album “Life is your labyrinth” which I played drums on back in 2018.

What’s up next for Ravage?
We will be playing New England area shows including a show in Worcester MA with BloodFeast on August 10th. We’ll also be filming music videos for release soon, and looking to get on festivals next year.

Any final words of wisdom?
Thanks to everyone for sticking with us throughout the years. Be excellent to each other!
Check us out on all the streaming platforms or pick up our double collectors’ vinyl at

Ravage In Peace!!!

(Interview by Ken Morton)

Ravage Band LineUp:
Al Ravage – Vokills
Eli Firicano – Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Nick Izzo – Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Toni Belchior – Drums
Tommy G – Bass

Ravage on Facebook

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