The raven seems to be a beloved object of many black metal bands, as they utilize his name and picture quite often. One of those bands is Rabenholz from Germany, as you can translate their name into “ravenwood” and you can clearly see a raven on the cover of their record. Does the band adopt more from the enrooted and stale elements of black metal or do they get off the beaten path? Read on!
The record was originally self-released as a handmade promo, limited to 111 copies and one of them must have attracted Helheim Productions so that they decided to re-release this promo as a digi-pack full length record. But can this assure quality? Not really!
The intro Auf Welken Schwingen is a really good opener and so you could hope for a really good record, as you can hear their effort in this song. They utilize a cello played melody which is accompanied by varied drum rhythms, which sometimes sounds a bit misplaced to make the first two minutes quite comfortable, but this atmosphere is destroyed when the second song kicks in.
The first seconds of the second song are crystal clear and the riff sounds quite nice, although it is nothing really unheard these days, but this impression should not last long. After a short time a laughter kicks in and with it the other instruments, which leads to the first disenchantment: A really bad production blurs the sound. The misery is perfect after the first appearance of the screamed vocals, as you will realize that Akt I - Auf Welken Schwingen is just another mishmash release from the black metal underground.
Of course there are some good points as well, but those are negated through the production and sometimes as well through a lack of skill. You could name the clean parts which lack of finesse or the drums which are quite good but sounding bad through the miserable production. The vocals could be named as well, as the way in which they are screamed leads to a really monotonous sound.
The debut of Rabenholz is not really bad at all, but its too much of the same old story we all know. The good attempts are ruined through the bad production and sometimes through the mentioned lack of skill. Praiseworthy are primarily the good drumming and that they use the melody from the intro to end the album, but thats it! Maybe the next record will be better, but only if they focus on their core ideas and combine them with a crystal clear production. Let’s hope for it!
Date of Release: 22th of October 2010
- Auf welken Schwingen … 01:58
- Schatten der Sehnsucht 07:14
- Todesherrschaft 06:54
- Stille … Am Ende aller Tage 07:00
- Als das Licht mich mit sich nahm … 09:16
Total playing time 32:21