Wraith - Revelation

Wraith Revelation cover
Ice Rain Records / Cargo Records
Wraith is a bit of a bizarre case; you know one of those melodic hard rock bands with a pretty metallic edge that also happened to be British… a handful really of bands that sprung out in the tail end of the 80s inspired by the “hair metal” phenomena, only arriving a few years later in the scene, for the most part; they did tour with “pretty much all the big bands of that era the UFOs, Saxons, Motorheads, you name it but really sort of “gave up” a couple of albums down the line in the early 90s, after which only a further three albums this one inclusive have been delivered and apparently, once every ten or so years.
Well, that must be down to founding member and guitarist Gregg Russell, who kept the whole thing going, and in 2017 is joined by Dieter Schänzer on guitars, Kim Nielsen (Phantom Blue, Asia) on bass, drummer Jay Graham (Ravenscreed, Tony Iommi, Skyclad and more) and vocalist Ryan Coggin, who was apparently going to join one of the versions of Ratt, when that whole media circus was in full bloom a while back, but didn’t have things turn out exactly as he’d expect.
The band keeps on this Ratt meets Dokken meets early Leppard sound, for the most part with a number of pretty good tracks. “Dream Steeler” reminded me a lot of Dokken, while “Into the Fire” (really?) had a lot more of Rodent details about it.
“Under the Hammer” is really a superior track, with a great chorus and a more dynamic range in it…
“Leaving Me Again” is a ballad in the Ratt meets Scorps meets Don vein, with a big harmonic chorus that could however sounded a bit “bigger”…
“No Respect” ain’t a Vain cover, but it does have the same oomph, like some of the rockers of that band with obviously edgier and less nasal vox.
“Invasion” is pretty much another highlight, with a biting guitar riff that begins it and a heavy, yet melodic edge.
The title track is just a spoken/suspense half minute intro to the very dynamic “Human Hater” that almost reminded me of the Marshall Law debut, just to show you how edgy these guys can get (or how Melodic ML could be I guess)…
“Hunted” has a riff that’s Def Leppard and vocals that are of the Skid Row variety (their melodic side) with “Lifeline” finishing the album in a rather energetic way that feels a bit like Motley meets Ratt.
The production is raw and edgy and a little rough and when I saw that Neil Kernon was the mixer and Andy Sneap the mastering engineer, it figures that the guitar tone was gonna be this quite dry – mid pumped and loud block that seems to dominate and grunge up the mix a bit, without really ever covering the other instruments or the vocals up; I suppose it fits the bill, while it’s not perfect. More than decent I suppose and I guess we can already start preparing for a sixth one in 2027 then? Eh?!