RAFF shares the story of dozens of other young, hopeful bands that entered the florid but unorganized Italian metal scene of the 1980s. A scene fondly remembered for its quality and creativity, but also for its chronic lack of opportunities if compared to other foreign countries where metal was flourishing at the time. The situation mirrored the bleak Italian recording industry, one unable to understand the potential of rock and metal “Made in Italy”, even if it came to punch the executives in their faces.
Truth be told, it’s even sadder to consider that RAFF were the only Italian band able tokeep at par with the explosive energy of other contemporary British Heavy Metal stalwarts. RAFF in fact had above average technical skills, and a great level of professionalism for such a young band.
Formed as Trancefusion in 1978’s Milan, it was in Rome that RAFF bloomed to their fullest, progressing quickly to reach the milestone of their career in 1981: a supporting slot to the Italian tour of a young Iron Maiden, the very first with Bruce Dickinson on vocal duties. RAFF received only compliments from the British combo, and collected very favorable press comments that described them as “the best British-inspired Italian rock band of the moment“.
As illustrated perfectly by Giovanni Loria in the liner notes accompanying this vinyl edition, the vicissitudes of RAFF’s early career brought them to publish only an EP in 1985, after which the band swayed in limbo, until their official break up came in 1987.
Almost three decades later, in 2012 RAFF found its long-sought stability with the arrival of talented guitarist Tony Arcuri to join the historical Bianco brothers’ duo (Chris, on bass and vocals, and Fabiano Master, on drums). This self-titled album is the result of many years of honorable career, always supported by a legion of enthusiastic fans who never let the band down since its humble beginnings in the legendary cellar-practice room of “Via degli Zingari”.
Recorded at “Bottega del Suono” studio by Fabio Lanciotti, this record collects RAFF’s most famous songs, from the anthem “Rafforce Commandos”, to “Rocker” – perhaps the song that best represents the band’s essence -, and the powerful “Dreamer ” and “Live It Loud”, two of their most remarkable numbers.
RAFF “s/t” closes off with the bold riff of “Gates of Fortune”, a song that was supposed to be the title track of a debut album which, sadly, never saw the light of day during the band’s prime. However, this same song will hopefully build the foundations for RAFF’s future, one that will crown them as Italian metal protagonists able to reap the rewards sown with 30 years of hard work.
This vinyl edition of RAFF “s/t” curated by Cruz Del Sur Music comes in a stylish layout with embossed logo and a 8 page booklet filled with rare pictures and trivia that, next to Giovanni Loria’s contribution (music journalist and one of RAFF’s most knowledgeable fans), take us back in time through the span of their thirty-year career.
In addition to a classic black vinyl edition, the album will be also available in a limited gold vinyl edition of 150 copies. The included download card will allow you to get a free digital version of the album to play with your mobile devices.
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You can also get a RAFF t-shirt printed to commemorate this exciting release: