Review: Raventhrone – Malice In Wonderland

Contentedly slower black metal with a medieval ambience. A project from Ray Well’s of snyth band Pazuzu this is not surprisingly heavily reliant on keyboards to create a scenic backdrop. Guitars are used less dependently than most bands but are used effectively, with drums acting as another sound rather than a progressive beat. This lack of progression, but dependence on instruments to create sustainable melodies is what separates listeners. Fans of the pomp with artists such as Mortiis and the reliance on keyboards to create real scenery e.g., Emperor should largely enjoy this release. Those who prefer to refrain from anything containing more than guitars and blastbeats will be disappointed. An appreciation of the chorus-lead group harmonies of German Bierkeller music should also be noted as the vocals range from scratchy high-pitched growls to deep male harmonies.

Each track is a fairly complex mix of guitars, drums, and an assortment of synthesized instruments. Guitars are often used to their full advantage mid-way into a song where they invade the overriding keyboard with their sawing elegance. The structures of each song is careful and the combination of a number of different instruments remains harmonic without becoming chaotic. The combination of sound does mean each elements needs to fight for its place however, a fact most obvious with the drums which are hit with a mighty blow throughout.

Fans of Finntroll and other bands who dabble in medieval, folk music should give Raventhrone a chance. While they lack the pace of said Finntroll, they are making increasingly enjoyable music that can be appreciated or hated depending upon your pre-programmed taste, as it is unlikely this will break many boundaries. Not because of the quality of the music, but because it will alienate audiences so much that many will dismiss it upon first listen. Don’t do that!

Originally posted on BlackMetalWeb
Review score: 4/5

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