Album Review: Raised by Owls – Vol. 3 (The Satirical Verses) (Self Released)

Formed in 2015, with two albums already under their belts, countless shows and festival appearances, and a pretty hefty social media following, Raised by Owls have grown into one of the UK’s most beloved extreme metal bands. A love that is likely only to deepen with the release of their third full-length album, ‘Vol. 3: (The Satirical Verses)’, out on May 3rd, 2024.

Just because Raised by Owls like to have fun and don’t take themselves seriously in the slightest, doesn’t mean they are a joke band. Or maybe it does. Who f**king cares? I’m not here to pass judgement on their comedic abilities as a band (even though I think they’re a very amusing bunch), I’m here to talk about their music, specifically this new album. Which I just happen to thoroughly enjoy. However, I’m just one voice in a sea of voices, and I wholeheartedly acknowledge that, like the band, this album isn’t going to be for everyone. However, I do think you’re being obtuse if you just dismiss it all.

I said in a recent video review of the song ‘The Dark and Twisted Realm in Which Fred Durst Resides’, the litmus test for Raised by Owls is if you still enjoy a song of theirs without a video. Can you put on a 40+ minute album, and still come away loving this band?

We’re off to the f**king races with Comedy Metal is a Fucking Embarrassment. A gnashing, wailing, and grinding blast of savagery with added stompy goodness, a dramatic outro, and an overall sharpness to it. The lyrics of this track are fabulous.

It’s all a fucking joke. It’s all a joke, and no-one’s laughing but me. Maybe that’s all that matters. And maybe that’s the point.

A frenzied and furiously heavy ode to the living dead and their ringleader, Rob Zombie then comes with the aptly titled, Robert Zombie. Followed by an absolute head-banger of a groovy death metal track in the form of Going for a Pint with Corpsegrinder. He really does have a hunky neck. Before an unrelenting tribute to grind comes from the appropriately named Dance Like Barney Greenway.

He looks like he’s being chased by a swarm of invisible wasps.

Huh, that’s really f**king accurate. Great, Raised by Owls just broke the experience of seeing Napalm Death live with that line.

The extreme (and legal) fun continues with The Dark and Twisted Realm in Which Fred Durst Resides. A beast of a track that goes stupidly fast and hard, featuring some ‘blackened’ undercurrents, giving it a ‘trve cvlt’ feel. At least until the synth hits, and then the naysayers will be choking on their goat blood. Of course, their tongues are firmly jammed in their cheeks, after all this is about Fred Durst being an ancient and malevolent deity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t head-bang and circle pit yourself into oblivion. After all, it’s Raised by Owls and they demand nothing less.

One of the strongest tracks on the entire album then comes in the form of I’m Sorry I Wore a Dying Fetus T-Shirt to Your Baby’s Gender Reveal Party. For sure to be a fan favourite for many years to come, as it just goes so hard and the chorus is fire. Also, I once accidentally wore a Faith No More t-shirt with the word ‘mother’ on the front and the word ‘fucker’ on the back to a children’s judo-class, and promptly got booted out by an angry parent. I forgot I was wearing it. Over a decade later, I still cringe, so I can relate.

How about that? Raised by Owls have written a track that gets me, and in their own words:

Forgive me for I know not what I’ve done. If I would have realised, I wouldn’t have come. Trust me, this was an honest mistake. I’m awfully sad to have spoiled the charade.

Here’s something though. Raised by Owls taking their ‘tongue in cheek’ approach to the very serious subject of mental health. It’s called Altars of Sadness and it is a phenomenal track with a blackened-post vibe, Gojira-like guitar moments, and even some effective melody. It’s daringly anthemic, and a straight f**k you to anyone that says this band can’t offer more than just fast and heavy noise. Although it has plenty of that too, it’s still Raised by Owls, after all.

Who needs reminding though? Not when you’ve got arsehole tightening punk-infused efforts like Strictly Come Danzig or gurning old-school death metal efforts like I Honestly Thought OSDM Was a Sex Thing. The latter has some of my favourite lyrics, and I can honestly say I laughed out loud hearing lines like:

OSDM? Don’t mean to kink shame but I’m not into that stuff.

Although the line:

Blessed are the THICC.

That should probably go on a t-shirt at some point. Who wouldn’t want a Live. Laugh. Lars poster on their wall too? Even though this track, lyrically, is less hero worship and more… stalkery. Only vocalist Sam could deliver these lines with such intensity and believability. I’d say this album is his best work to date. Although I’d also say it’s the best work of the entire band thanks to refinement and a willingness to explore other musical areas.

Did you ever think, a few years back, that we’d get a track like None of This Will Matter in the End? An epic track that begins in melancholic fashion (the melody is wonderful) that transforms into something extremely meaty, but has this middle portion where the guitars just soar, and drops back into the melody near the end. Leading to a final minute that will put the stupidest smile on your face, even while the world burns around us.

Just enjoy the ride.

That’s the final words of this album and it couldn’t be truer. If you can’t find anything to enjoy on Vol. 3: (The Satirical Verses) I think you are the problem, not them. Give Raised by Owls their f**king flowers, they have more than earned them here.

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Raised by Owls – Vol. 3: (The Satirical Verses) Track Listing:

1. Comedy Metal is a Fucking Embarrassment
2. Robert Zombie
3. Going for a Pint with Corpsegrinder
4. Dance Like Barney Greenway
5. The Dark and Twisted Realm in Which Fred Durst Resides
6. I’m Sorry I Wore a Dying Fetus T-Shirt to Your Baby’s Gender Reveal Party
7. Altars of Sadness
8. Strictly Come Danzig
9. I Honestly Thought OSDM Was a Sex Thing
10. Live, Laugh, Lars
11. None of This Will Matter in the End




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Author

  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Raised by Owls – Vol. 3 (The Satirical Verses) (Self Released)
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