Videoclip of the Month!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ravencult - Morbid Blood

Ravencult - Morbid Blood

Ravencult is a black metal band from Greek and Morbid Blood is their 2011 release. After the release of Torment, these guys were out to look for more people to induct into the Ravencult which was already gaining quite a fan base. As for whereabouts this album sits in the realms of black metal, it’s a little ambiguous because sometimes they are just playing straight up black metal and then there are also times where they sound like a very dark, evil thrash metal band. And… there are even times where the music alone could have been mistaken for a 90s NYC hardcore band. For some reason or another, there are a lot of disappointed fans around the world going on about how black metal is dying and the new wave is turning into rubbish. Well… all I can say is strap yourselves in because Morbid Blood is one hell of a ride (pun intended).

For people who enjoyed their debut album Temples of Torment, this is just like blast from the past. They still showcase everything that was loved about their old album in Morbid Blood. Yep the blast beats and their “in your face” attitude is definitely still there. Although there were still a couple of differences that I have managed to pick out. The first and foremost one was production, Temples of Torment’s production was a lot more jaggered and abrasive than this one. Morbid Blood seems a lot more spread evenly and organised. There wasn’t really anything that really stood out in terms the sounds given by instruments. Whereas, in Temples of Torment, the blast beats and vocals have definitely stood out more than everything else that was in the album, and also, the recording quality sounded rawer in Temples of Torment. I’m not sure if people thought that It contributed to its charm but whatever that charm was, it’s gone now. Also, I thought that Morbid Blood was nowhere near as chaotic as Temples of Torment, I mean year there are a few instances of brutality and anarchy in thereby they have seemed to have tried improving their song structure. Some might like it better, some might not and some, are like me and still think that both are awesome.

For all who don’t know, black metal is a relatively vast genre with many subgenres and subgenres under other subgenres. What Ravencult is known for is their innovation in mixing a few of these black metal styles together and still having fantastic black metal. I think they have done excellent job at mixing these genres together because there doesn’t seem like there are any signs of contamination in their music. Which is a problem for many black metal bands nowadays (especially newer black metal bands) who try and incorporate too much into their sound and it just sounds like a generic extreme metal band. This typical for many of the newer black/death and symphonic black bands out there today. It’s absolutely great to see (hear) bands that still stay true to good black metal. That being said, they aren’t exactly when people would define as “pure” black metal.

Ravencult have created an excellent black metal album, and one of the clear influences in their music would definitely have to be classic black or first wave black metal. I’m not sure if it’s just me that is hearing this but they really have a strong thrash metal background to their black metal stage. I think that the speed and style of music that is in this album basically screams of thrash metal, specifically speed thrash. I would exactly call this a new direction for this band because it wasn’t really their musical style that has changed, it’s the recording. Because it Temples of Torment, the rawness of the recording really complemented their black metal style whereas here, the thrashy riffs stand out more than what we witnessed in their debut album. Now, there is a certain “in your face” attitude that this album has that can only be associated with old 90s NYC hardcore. It’s mainly the guitar work that is responsible for this, because sometimes the riffs sound just like hardcore. Now, please, don’t be turned off by this because even though they might have a small hardcore atmosphere to their sound, because still 99% of the atmosphere is dark, evil and sinister and what all black metal fans have come to love.

What else is necessary for creating a successful black metal album in this genre other than great guitar work? Blast beats of course! The drumming is really fast throughout the whole album and there are only very small times where the drumming actually slows for a bit, and they do it at just the right times to stop the music for sounding over repetitive. Like I’ve mentioned before, the blasts have died down a little compared their debut album. The blasts here, sound like that they are on the same level as the rest of the instruments. I actually like it that way, because usually (I mean usually) the reason why bands like to make their drumming really loud is to attempt to cover up how bad everything else is and that is a definite no, no. Here, it is clear that these guys have the skill needed to play what their own sound without having to hide behind a wall of blast beats.

Overall, this is very respectable follow up to a decent album. Although there hasn’t been that miany signs of progression since their first album, Morbid Blood is still a solid album that should satisfy any hardcore black metal fans out there. These guys are a mix of black metal and thrash metal to say the least because there are numerous influences at black here and all of them can be related to black metal or extreme metal, so no contamination here. For fans of their first album Temples of Torment, I anticipate that 90% of you will be satisfied, and 10% won’t be. The 10% are the people who liked the rawness of their first album because this album is a lot more clean and polished. For new comers to this band, I recommend Winds Of Damnation is an excellent place to start because it will give you the first and lasting impression that you need to decide whether or not to continue listening to this album/band. So Ravencult’s 2011 release gets a 16/20 from me.

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