Band: Raven Throne
Album: I Miortvym Snicca Zolak
Label: Non Serviam Records
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: May 2, 2018
The eastern European black metal scene has to be among the most unique. There are so few scenes where you consistently get such anguish filled music from so many bands, and such a lush selection of bleak music for those who want to have their spirits totally crushed. In the past years it has especially jumped up in popularity with such bands as MGLA, Batushka, and Nokturnal Mortum, but beneath these titans there seem to be endless amounts of lesser known bands from all over the former soviet bloc that follow suit in these grim stylings. Enter Raven throne, one such lesser known bands from Belarus.
Raven Throne are not newcomers to this music scene, they’ve got a solid history, with their first full length being released in 2005, and several others throughout their career. Upon first listen to this album, they hold true to the unmistakable eastern European style. With agonizing vocals reciting lyrics inspired by 20th century poetry in their native tongue, high speed, thunderous, blast beat filled drums, and a wall of tremolo guitars, accompanied by dark, evocative melodies. This album album seems to be the perfect fit for the listener that is looking for a soundtrack to the darkest winter nights, or a sonic backdrop to the imagery of glades in their home country , that have witnessed a long, grim history. Raven Throne are without a doubt proficient, and clearly well equipped in their craft.
The first track of the album is ‘Vietru’ and it provides a fine precursor to what the rest of the album will. The listener is given a minute long acoustic intro before the song rushes into a thundering, full speed Drudkh-esque verse. As the song progresses the verses are separated by a handful of folksy breaks, which provide fine contrasts to the high speed, wall of sound. At 7 minutes long it’s the second longest track on the album, after ‘Imža, i sklizota, i prykraja zol’.
The rest of the album seems to follow the similar formula as the first song. This is one of the weaknesses of the album, things sound just a bit too much the same, while they aren’t bad songs, there isn’t a whole lot to distinguish them, the album seems to slip by without you noticing that you’ve moved on to the next song. Before the final track we’re treated to a 3 and half minute acoustic interlude, with rainy ambiance, an epic break before the album ends with what I would say is the darkest, and slowest song on the album. Particular favourites are; ‘Imža, i sklizota, i prykraja zol’, and the final track; ‘Žyvoj kryvi žyvyja cielcy’.
This album is a great album for any fan of Drudkh, or Agalloch, It is Beyond dark, and filled with folksy melodies. My main gripe with this album is that it seems to play things too safe, there isn’t anything there that really makes this album noteworthy, and if anything, Raven Throne just sounds too much like Drudkh, I’d have loved for them to stretch their legs a bit and add their own flavourings into the music. But, beyond my main complaints, there aren’t any bad songs, its a good album that enchants, and builds a dreamlike atmosphere that the listener can drown in. For any black metal fan, this album is definitely worth your time.
2. Pole cicha šaptala kalossiem…
3. Imža, i sklizota, i prykraja zol
5. Žyvym vas nie daklikacca…
6. Žyvoj kryvi žyvyja cielcy
Total Playing time: 37:33
A Canadian instrumentalist and sound-artist with a strong interest in anything artful.