Looking to the statistics according the amount of band members in underground black metal bands will reveal a “shocking” fact: The majority of them are one man projects. They often have to face criticism, as a vast amount of people is denouncing them as less authentic or even unprofessional. All followers of my blog will have realised, that I am a defender of those projects, as most of them are quite good. Therefore I would like to introduce Raventale, another underrated project from the Ukraine. Read on for anything further.
After is the fourth record of the history of Raventale which officially started in 2006 with the release of their debut. Any fears, that the nearly annual release cycle would harm the quality of his records are arbitrary.
However the intro to the first song called Gone may try to lead you on the garden path, as it utilizes distorted, unclean riffs. After a short period, a heavy guitar rhythm kicks in, which is supported by a serrating melody and slow, distressed growls. The main theme is kept in mid-tempo and is left untouched halfway down the song when calm synthesizer sounds are taking over. As we go along, the synthesizers are accompanied by drums and guitars until they are merging to recreate the main theme, which ends the song.
The following tracks abandon those calm interludes to focus on the main theme. In this context Astaroth abandoned the vocals on the third track Youth, but in return he uses a sample of playing children to tighten the atmosphere. Variety was Astaroth’s main priority while composing After and so no song resembles another one, although they might be quite similiar according the general structure.
The fourth track called Flames resembles some stuff of Arcturus in multiple ways. First of all the main theme, which is accompanied by a piano melody, is quite similiar to those Arcturus used and second to that is the overall structure which could remind you of a typical Arcturus song, although it is less experimental. The last track has some parallels to Dimmu Borgir so the vocals are sounding like those from Shagrath although the mid-tempo dissents this connection.
It should be clear by now, that the composition is of a really high level and so is the production, although there are some little flaws because sometimes drums, guitar or even the vocals are drowning the interpolated melodies.
As I mentioned in the introduction, the most underrated projects in black metal are solo ones and this is wrongfully. Astaroth is totally convincing with his mixture of black/doom metal and so his fourth record After is an diversified good one, although there are some flaws like the little weaknesses in production or the playing time, which hardly exceeds the 34 minutes.
|Total playing time||34:28|