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Ravensire - A Stone Engraved in Red

A Stone Engraved in Red
by Mike "Bitchin" Bourgeois at 09 July 2019, 9:37 PM

When I was a kid, I tried to build a hot rod. All the parts were there, powerful V8, 4-speed manual transmission, top notch coil-over suspension, the works. It never really lived up to the potential that the sum of its parts promised, and that's the feeling I get from RAVENSIRE's "A Stone Engraved in Red".

From the opening "Carnage at Karnag" the flow felt forced, the transitions added just to try and get a timing change, like the 7/8 count rundown to the chorus. It just didn't have a natural progression to it. "Thieves of Pleasure" continued this chunky attempt at inserting weird and unneeded fills, such as the guitar part right before Rick came in with his unique but nasally vocals. It was not needed and interrupted the movement of the music.

The talent is there, and production quality is amazingly high. The guitars of Nuno and Mario are beautifully voiced and I'm impressed with the quality of their playing, as demonstrated in "Bloodsoaked Fields". Alex has a grip on strange time signatures, his kit is wonderfully recorded and I got to give him props for the amazing job he did on the spastic "The Smiting God", but when listening to a song is like talking to a person with multiple personalities, there's only so much you can do. Rick is competent as a bassist, steady with the tempo, but uninspiring and basic.

RAVENSIRE are an old school Metal band, playing a style many bands were working on in the 80's, a mix of NWOBHM and Thrash, but like most (including my band at the time) tried too hard to make complex music without a voice saying simplify it first. After that you can see where it goes. Keep playing, keep experimenting, and find someone who can be honest with you and ask "Is that really needed there?" Sometimes an outside voice is very valuable.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Carnage at Karnag
2. Thieves of Pleasure
3. Gabriel Lies Sleeping
4. Dawning in Darkness
5. Bloodsoaked Fields
6. After the Battle
7. The Smiting God
8. The Games of Titus
Nuno - Guitars
Rick - Bass / Vocals
Mário - Guitars
Alex - Drums
Record Label: Cruz Del Sur Music


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