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Ravendust - The Gold of the Aura

Ravendust
The Gold of the Aura
by Justin Joseph at 21 September 2021, 10:24 PM

The perception of Black Metal from the view of any listener can vary, one may hear a cluster of noise while another may see the systematic structure that creates such cacophony, but sometimes beneath the noise one may find the emotions from which sound is birthed, and such emotions can weave a tapestry of a grand story encompassed within each thread. That brings us to today’s review of the one man Black Metal outfit, RAVENDUST’s new album, “The Gold of the Aura”. In a sea in which countless vessels flow along the same current, there usually exist less differentiation to discern each singular body, so how does RAVENDUST separate itself from the straight path? Well it does not actually, but this is not a bad trait, as you can choose to look at as a singular microorganism that contributes to the inner workings of a gargantuan being, in other words, while RAVENDUST offering is not quite new, it’s still an excellent album that stokes the black flame which licks the skies even more feverishly.

Aesthetically, the musical structure is rooted in that of the soil of Black Metal, meaning your standard tremolo pickings with the complimented up-tempo percussive elements, the basic foundation is erected quite well, the track, “Existence” demonstrates this, albeit with a slower pace…the point here is that the integral Black Metal formula that one expects is present like marrow that flows through bones. But what exactly sets this release apart…what makes it…good? Firstly, it’s the overall atmosphere that veils this release, giving it an almost cinematic and somewhat theatrical feeling, the track, “The Dying Flamme” demonstrates this with its serpentine flow of tremolo picking variations, which dispels that occult like feeling, but what gives the song as well as album its grandiose feeling is the use of slower interjections, sometimes it can sound like a breakdown or simply a slow groove, and this contrast between these two elements fosters that grand aura, now you may be thinking, “OK…slow grooves in Black Metal…what’s new with that?” and again you are probably right, but what makes this variable coalesce with the other elements within “The Gold of the Aura” is that the concoction never appears to be contrived, instead it oozes organically without the need for applied force, and this serves as a major highlight upon the album. The slower interjections give the illusion as though a blackened sermon is being performed in haste by a vile tongue, while it halts for a moment so that the sounds of a doom-like mantra can be absorbed by a congregation, “No God” makes use of this with it’s opening, and this is an example in which all factors seamlessly integrate into one another.

Staying on the same point with regards to slower melodies being a part of this album’s architecture, this is where the songs illuminate, as the slower grooves accentuate the sinister tone that has already been produced, while the intricacies of the riffing and drums are appreciated (also they work rather well), it’s the moments that take the time to exhale a diabolical air that makes the atmosphere much denser, the track “The Mermaid” exhibits this trait with its slow groove-patterns at the beginning that adds another layer to the album’s mysticism, in other words, it is not the intensity driven components that propels this album’s aura but it is the lurking, methodical spirit that is fragmented throughout different portions that evolve the unsettling nature. Moving on to the next positive on this release….the vocals, still adopting the standard Black Metal register, but what makes this a positive upon the album is the way in which the lines are contorted, as though each verse is uttered by an elder story-teller, who recollects the pain and horrors he has faced throughout his life.

The only negative that was encountered throughout the listening experience was the sound quality, not exactly the production or the mix of the instruments, but the album presented a compressed sound to it that sometimes came about slightly muffled. It’s not a blaring issue, but there are components within here that should be given the luxury to shine more, however, again, it doesn’t diminish the quality of the music. Overall, this is an excellent release, while it doesn’t deviate from the Black Metal formula, it still manages to be a captivating listening experience with the atmospheric undertones and Black n Roll elements interwoven into the mixture. This is one I’d definitely recommend to Extreme Metal fans and Black Metal fans alike.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7


4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. No God
2. The Dying Flamme
3. Existance
4. The Mermaid
5. Among Death
6. The Gold of the Aura
7. Our Blood
8. Ravendust
9. Outro
Lineup:
Raven-Everything
Record Label: Wolfmond Production
     


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