Released: 2017, Ashen Dominion
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Enigmatic Ukrainian act Raventale return with their fourth slice of ethereal Black Metal didvination. The brainchild of Astaroth Merc, who is responsible for all instrumentations and vocals, Raventale weave a dark and mystical tapestry. Very affecting stuff.
The album opens with the immense "Gemini - Behind Two Black Mountains", full of portentous, sublime and ghostly riffing. It is akin to opening up a portal in time and space to a spectral netherworld. Its is spectacularly otherwordly, and boasts some glorious solos and harmonies. Next up is "Bringer Of Celestial Anomalies", a more abrasive track featuring embittered ravings interspersed with a sense of childlike wonder. A sudden surge of adrenaline lifts proceedings, but fails to truly save the track as it goes on a bit too long.
"At The Halls of Pleiades" returns the album to form with its crushing grooves. A hypnotic, pulsating melodrama, it is doomfully drawn out, like sucking poison from a deeply infected wound. A vicious blast laden section wakes the listener from celestial stupor, before lulling back into its misty slumber. "New World Planetarium" rounds off proceedings. A lengthy, whimsical intro akin to old Burzum ushers in a morpheus-like dreamstate. Full of suffocating hopelessness, it is by turns aching, yearning and jarring.
"Planetarium" is a truly soul draining experience. It manages to be both uplifing and devastating at the same time. It is pacy when it needs to be, but mostly it floats along like a Black Metal magic carpet. An inspired release.
Review by Owen Thompson