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The Ruins Of Beverast – The Thule Grimoires Award winner

The Ruins Of Beverast
The Thule Grimoires
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 01 February 2021, 3:27 AM

RUINS OF BEVERAST is a one man atmospheric doom/black metal band from Germany. The brainchild of Alexander von Meilenwald, "The Thule Grimoires," is the band's six full length album, in addition to a demo, EP and numerous splits. With this new album, MEILENWALD continues to push the boundaries of what doom and black metal can be yet he doesn't forget his roots. The result is an album with it's own unique sound that presents a lot of different elements yet it is still both doom and black metal. It is a rare artist who can find this balance between the past, present and future but RUINS OF BEVERAST nail it.

In addition to the expected extreme vocals and riffs, the album contains a lot of distorted guitars and clean vocals.  Ambient and psychedelic passages also lurk in the corridors of this darkened maze. Though the band definitely isn't spastic, this does lend the album to be a musical journey where one isn't quite sure what to find. Although it fits into the blackened  doom category, it definitely isn't the typical stuff.

The first track ,"Ropes Into Eden," begins with a slow buildup. Ambient noises and keys fill the air around with creepy, spoken word vocals. The entire movement is unnerving, mystical, and, frankly, a little out there. But it works and the song builds upon these moments well.  The black metal vocals are perfectly executed as are the well timed drum hits that smack the song at the right points to accent the song's feeling.

The song suddenly stops to enter a dark tunnel consisting of noises, distorted guitar and what appears to be muffled words. It is a difficult, harrowing experience and further exemplifies how much RUINS OF BEVERAST stand out from their peers. Like an animal clawing after its prey, the vocals emerging from this tunnel spraying musical blood into an somber background. What a song, what an experience!

"The Tundra Shrines," has more of a focus on actual riffs and music in the conventional sense but the song is still rather formless and abstract in a way. The guitar tone is the beginning is huge and towering and the touches of keys only adds to its menacing presence. The drums stir up these deep, dark waters for a subtle mix of Chaos thrown in. This song features the use of cleans as well…very well done and fit into the song's context. The last half the song is straight up black metal: speedy double bass, searing riffs and demonic vocals.

"Polar Hiss Hysteria," is one of the best songs on this album. It mixes it up with rock oriented drumming and even a little groove here and there. The vocals are layered in places for added effect. The pacing is excellent and it naturally gets more intense as the seconds pass. Much of the song is more direct and intense than previous tracks but there exists a hypnotic, tribal feel to it especially in how the drums and guitar play off each other. About a quarter of the way through the song, it takes a vicious turn that segues into atmospheric death doom. The guitars swirl around like mists, enveloping the song.

The final song is "Deserts To Bind and Defeat."  Deep clean vocals with a spoken word cadence open the track with clean guitar backing them.  Ambient keys and heavy guitar spill out from the darkness and lay on top, suffocating.  The song get more vicious as it goes along before going quiet for a few precious seconds.  Afterwards, the blackened parts pick up again before an arcane solo cuts a wise path through the song.

THE RUINS OF BEVERAST have created an album in “The Thule Grimoires,” that effectively combines a myriad of sounds while still retaining their patented brand of atmospheric black/doom.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ropes Into Eden
2. The Tundra Shrines
3. Kromlec’h Knell
4. Mammothpolis
5. Anchoress In Furs
6. Polar Hiss Hysteria
7. Deserts To Bind and Defeat
Lineup:
Alexander von Meilenwald – Everything
Record Label: Van Records
     


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Edited 16 October 2021
 

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