Raventale - Transcendence
1 October 2012

01. Shine
02. Room Winter
03. Without Movement
04. Transcendence

Raventale plays atmospheric black metal with doom influences and, on paper, these ideas seem like a sure thing for a great album. It's driving yet mournful and there are moments of sadly beautiful guitar melodies, pained vocals, and some keyboards. It's moderately enjoyable and dense but once the album stops spinning I have no desire to play it again and little recollection of what I just heard. Why is this?

For one thing, it's far too simplistic. The first two tracks in particular have nothing to differentiate them from other music in this style, and nothing to grab the listener. There is a circular rhythm which tries to be captivating but in the end just spirals out of your attention span.

This album contains four songs, each over 10 minutes, all of which completely lack arc. They noodle around until the 2 seconds of obligatory silence before the next track. Sadly, there are moments where the lovely aforementioned harmonies or guitar melodies try to creep in and evoke a beautiful, mournfully desolate mood. Not only are these moments so poorly mixed that you can barely hear them, but they never really repeat or develop. No themes ever return, and the songs seem to have little progression. In essence, Transcendence could have been broken up into 6 songs, or 14 songs, or just be one long track, and that would not have made a difference.

The most effective attempt comes near the end of the 3rd track. At about 7:40 I always perk up my attention for a fluid, doom-like atmosphere that takes over and tries to give the song "Without Movement" a strong finish. Unfortunately, by the end, the track sinks back into the abyss that is the rest of the album. This same atmosphere returns near the end of the final track and attempts another strong finish but honestly, if you can get your attention span to last till the end of this album to hear this fine moment then I applaud you.

Perhaps you're thinking this would make good background music? Unfortunately, boring music is not the same thing as good background music. In order to be good background music, there must be a mood present that supports the foreground. It can't just be a bunch of tunes that you don't notice. It must grab your attention, even slightly, from time to time, in some enriching way. Transcendence is an album that, at times, seems pleasant while listening but in the end, it's just not retained.

Listen at Bandcamp. Maybe you'll love it.

Band profile: Raventale
Album: Transcendence


Written on 07.04.2013 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Susan ››

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