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Ravenlight – Immemorial Award winner

by Thomas Kumke at 09 January 2023, 5:36 AM

RAVENLIGHT were formed in 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The progressive, symphonic Metal outfit released so far two EPs, one full-length and one live album. Their sophomore album “Immemorial” was mixed and mastered by John Connor and Michal Bugajski. It has a length of about 48 minutes, and it was released Northern Irish label Distortion Project Records which is specialized in Northern Irish Metal. The album starts with powerful guitar riffing and with tempo. “Mask Of Red Death” comes with a lot of IRON MAIDEN vibes: the riffs, the galloping rhythm, the switches between faster and mid-tempo parts, the melodies, and even the vocals remind me on the all-time Metal icons. The vocals of Rebecca Feeney are versatile and cover most of the vocal range. Most of her notes are around the medium end of the vocal range, with some tonal shifts towards higher pitched notes. The way, she performs the vocals fit perfectly in, meaning the vocals have a lot of Bruce Dickinson vibes. There is a bit of orchestral arrangement, but it is very much in the background.

Mask Of Red Death” is a very dynamic and fresh song, it is a very good way to open the album. “Reflections” continues with the pace and rhythm during the verse parts. There are a few tempo switches towards a measured mid-tempo, where the keyboards become more dominant. There are two alternating solos halfway through the track with the keyboards and the lead guitars contributing likewise to the track. The melodies of “Reflections” are a bit darker and more melancholic. “Painters Dream” is a powerful mid-tempo track with catchy riffing and with orchestral arrangements equally contributing to the track. The keyboards play a more dominant role compared to the opening tracks. The chorus part has almost anthemic melodies with the vocals including a lot of higher notes. Highlight of the track is, besides the vocals, the lead guitar solo, and both carrying forward the MAIDEN vibes from the opening track. “Painters Dream” is one of the best songs on the album.

Spirit Of Life” starts with an extended instrumental part driven by the lead guitars and the strings. The focal point during the verse parts is the keyboard accompanying the vocals. “Spirit Of Life” is again a very dynamic mid-tempo song, it has catchy melodies, and once again there is a cool lead guitar solo. It is the official video release, and the YouTube link is given below. “Paper Ships” is a slow song with powerful guitar riffing and the piano driving the song forward alongside the vocals. The vocals are the key contribution to the song as Rebecca Feeney keeps the sound perfectly together, and melodies and rhythm just suits perfectly to her vocal strengths. The instrumental part of the track becomes more powerful as time goes by and during the middle of the track, there are some epic moments, before the piano and the vocals finish the song.

Rain” is a mid-tempo song with catchy melodies during the verse parts and more melancholic ones during the chorus parts. It has a straightforward texture without any twists in tempo and rhythm with a lot of orchestral contributions. “Spiral” is another ballad-esque song with the piano and the strings starting, before the vocals joining in shortly after and driving the track forward. Although the main instrument is the piano, there is still room for heavy guitar riffing and an excellent lead guitar solo. As in “Paper Ships”, highlight are the vocals as Rebecca Feeney sings with a lot of power and transports emotions to the listener. “Left Behind” starts with a piano-driven intro and then transitions into one of the faster tracks with lots of changes in tempo and rhythm, with changes between verse and chorus parts. The piano provides the main melodies of the track. “Left Behind” is one of the more complex songs on the album, there are many twists also in terms of orchestral arrangements, and it is one of the rare songs where the vocals are not so much in the focus.

The Maze” starts with powerful riffing. It is another slow song, and it is another song written for the vocalist. Rebecca Feeney leads the track excellently forward, quietly and with a bit of fragility during the verse parts, and very powerful during the chorus parts. I think, in “The Maze”, she unfolds her full potential, and the track is one of the album highlights. Michal Bugajski played the lead guitar and the keyboards on the track. The album closes with the mid-tempo song “Springtime Lament”. The guitar riffing is driving the track forward with the piano providing the melodies. The vocal melodies are catchy during the chorus parts. There is an extended break halfway through the song including a spoken word part, operatic vocal parts, and a lead guitar solo.  “Springtime Lament” is an epic song, it is almost a journey of its own, and it is the longest song with a playing time of almost nine minutes. A great way to finish the album.

Immemorial” is an impressive album and it delivers everything, modern symphonic Metal can offer: powerful guitar riffing, well composed orchestral arrangements, catchiness, epic melodies, ballads as well as dynamic and fresh songs. Above all, there is an excellent vocalist who keeps the sound perfectly together and stamps her vocal authority on every track. Rebecca Feeney is clearly the jewel on the crown with her versatility, her vocal range, and more importantly with her interpretation of the songs. Most of the songs were written towards her strengths, which is evidence of the maturity in songwriting. The album is well produced. RAVENLIGHT release a very strong symphonic Metal album and set the bar very high for all other releases in 2023. “Immemorial” is a must have album for every symphonic Metal fan.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Mask Of Red Death
2. Reflections
3. Painters Dream
4. Spirit Of Life
5. Paper Ships
6. Rain
7. Spiral
8. Left Behind
9. The Maze
10. Springtime Lament
Rebecca Feeney – Vocals
John Connor – Guitars, Keyboards
Michal Bugajski – Drums
Dan Ashall-Kane ­ Bass
Record Label: Independent


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