Rating:
9.5
The Ruins Of Beverast - Blood Vaults (The Blazing Gospel Of Heinrich Kramer)
6 September 2013


01. Apologia
02. Daemon
03. Malefica
04. Ornaments On Malice
05. Spires, The Wailing City
06. A Failed Exorcism
07. Trial
08. Ordeal
09. Monument


For devout fans of black metal, Alexander Von Meilenwald truly needs no introduction. The former drummer of Nagelfar has achieved underground prestige not only with his previous band, but is now well on the way to building up quite the worthy legacy with his one man project The Ruins Of Beverast as well. 2013 sees Meilenwald putting out the monstrous Blood Vaults - The Blazing Gospel Of Heinrich Kramer, a nearly 80-minute odyssey of black metal and melancholic doom fusion, that takes his creative vision to heights it has arguably never seen before.

The Heinrich Kramer of the album title was a German Inquisitor in the Middle Ages who wrote a treatise on how to identify, interrogate, and torture witches, and Meilenwald sketches a well thought out portrait of his life with his new album. Like any good concept album then, Blood Vaults contains many twists and turns in its music that reflect those set by the narrative of the lyrics. On the one hand, there's a ton of dark, mesmerizing doom ("Malefica," "Spires, The Wailing City," "A Failed Exorcism"), making the album seem like a natural continuation of Foulest Semen Of A Sheltered Elite. The occasional organ breaks, like in the middle of "Malefica" or "Ornaments On Malice" help to accentuate this mood, and in many ways even give the album a bit of an (dare I say it?) epic doom vibe.

But don't let that fool you, because although they may not be as prevalent as the doom side of the album, Blood Vaults also contains a good deal of black metal elements as well, sure to please some more of the kvlt pvrists out there. Tracks such as "Ordeal," "Spires, The Wailing City," and "Daemon," especially, see Meilenwald getting into some faster and more aggressive emotion, at times even reminiscent of some moments from Unlock the Shrine. And at other points, Meilenwald also returns to some of his former Nagelfar drumming glory with clever and well-delivered percussive patterns (check out the middle of "Spires, The Wailing City"). The trick to the composition, however, really lies in the brilliant approach to the production. Despite the fact that some tracks have these harsher, more black metal-ish parts, the music still retains that crunchy, bass-heavy guitar tone to it, which makes Blood Vaults feel a lot more like a full-fledged blackened doom album than Foulest did.

And lastly, Blood Vaults also maintains Meilenwald's trademark hauntingly classical signature. The album follows upon that melancholic sound Alex often employs akin to dark, medieval church hymns, and is shrouded almost entirely in this haunting cloak throughout, perhaps more than ever before. The spoken Latin at the beginning of "Malefica," the outro to "Monument," the entire "Trial" track and more help to really bring out the whole Heinrich Kramer/church theme, and are the proverbial icing on the cake.

Ladies and gentlemen, Alex Von Meilenwald has done it yet again, proving once more his sheer genius as both a composer and a lyricist. Reviewers should always maintain a sense of objectivity in the music they cover, but we also need to recognize raw talent when it smacks us in the face, and Blood Vaults is, quite simply, a wrecking ball. Whether nominated for black metal or extreme doom, this album will definitely be getting my vote in this year's awards. Crank it loud, my friends

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: The Ruins Of Beverast
Album: Blood Vaults (The Blazing Gospel Of Heinrich Kramer)


 



Written on 30.08.2013 by
Apothecary
"I don't know how y'all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu Tang is for the children, we teach the children"
-ODB
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Daniell - 30.08.2013 at 17:17  
That good? I can't wait to hear it. Loved Nagelfar, love Ruins. Looks like Lychgate will finally have some competition this year. With Oranssi Pazuzu coming soon as well, this autumn might turn out to be great black metal-wise.
!J.O.O.E.! - 30.08.2013 at 17:17  
Sounds nice.
Apothecary - 30.08.2013 at 17:29  
Written by Daniell on 30.08.2013 at 17:17

That good? I can't wait to hear it. Loved Nagelfar, love Ruins. Looks like Lychgate will finally have some competition this year. With Oranssi Pazuzu coming soon as well, this autumn might turn out to be great black metal-wise.

I've heard the new Oranssi album too, and even though it's excellent as well, and they and RoB are probably my two favorite BM bands, I'm leaning way more towards Blood Vaults. It's just so well written, I don't see how anything this year is really going to have the balls to compete with it. I've learned to never underestimate the power of one man bands, this is pretty much like the 2013 equivalent of Blood Geometry. Not as long, but just as monumentally powerful.
Draugen - 30.08.2013 at 17:30  
I'm planning on listening through all of his full-length albums as soon as I get a hold of this one. I'm prepared for an immense experience.
Alex Fenger - 30.08.2013 at 17:35  
Absolute unbridled excitement for this one. Nice review, gave me a good idea of what to expect.
Apothecary - 30.08.2013 at 17:40  
Written by Draugen on 30.08.2013 at 17:30

I'm planning on listening through all of his full-length albums as soon as I get a hold of this one. I'm prepared for an immense experience.

I just listened to Foulest, but I'm sure there's no doubt that taking all of his albums in that context would be quite the immense experience indeed.
Merchant of Doom - 30.08.2013 at 17:43  
I'm still "digesting" this... I'll report back...
Mr. Doctor - 30.08.2013 at 17:47  
Consider me sold.
Pazdzioch - 30.08.2013 at 17:49  
There is no chance of beating one of my favorite albums of all time which is 'Rain Upon The Impure' but should be interesting judging by your review.
Apothecary - 30.08.2013 at 17:56  
Written by Pazdzioch on 30.08.2013 at 17:49

There is no chance of beating one of my favorite albums of all time which is 'Rain Upon The Impure' but should be interesting judging by your review.

Interesting that you take that one as your favorite, that's usually the one RoB album I see most people not liking because of the dirty as fuck production
But of course, that's just part of the beauty of it. You know a composer is talented when all of their releases are more or less excellent, and all have a distinct sound that can attract different tastes in people.
Merchant of Doom - 30.08.2013 at 18:18  
Written by Daniell on 30.08.2013 at 17:17

That good?


I can only tell you one thing at the moment. It's not that good, but pretty good indeed... it's an 8 for me.
mz - 30.08.2013 at 18:25  
Time to revisit RoB
Apothecary - 30.08.2013 at 18:42  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 30.08.2013 at 18:18

It's not that good, but pretty good indeed...

How have you listened to the whole thing already?
Merchant of Doom - 30.08.2013 at 19:07  
Written by Apothecary on 30.08.2013 at 18:42

Written by Merchant of Doom on 30.08.2013 at 18:18

It's not that good, but pretty good indeed...

How have you listened to the whole thing already?


I have my contacts...
Boxcar Willy - 30.08.2013 at 20:28  
I'm not really a RoB fan, but I suppose I'll heck it out. Hopefully all the hype is accurate.
Apothecary - 30.08.2013 at 21:13  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 30.08.2013 at 20:28

I'm not really a RoB fan, but I suppose I'll heck it out. Hopefully all the hype is accurate.

Yeah, unlike the hype for Deafheaven right?
theembryo - 30.08.2013 at 21:15  
Have only been able to experience "Daemon"; "Malefica"; and "Ordeal" thus far. However; it seemed to only take the briefest of auditioning to clearly see how the release is so much anticipated! Well done here, Apothecary, and thanks!
I believe BoxCar Willy should not be disappointed.......
Apothecary - 30.08.2013 at 21:15  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 30.08.2013 at 19:07

I have my contacts...

Indeed, those in the MS hierarchy aren't the only ones with connections. An 8 is still very good though, glad you enjoy it. It's one of those albums that definitely grows on you though, and where you find things you didn't before on each listen, so maybe you'll want to reconsider that rating after a few more listens
psykometal - 30.08.2013 at 21:47  
All you fuckers and your RoB obsession, guess I'm gona have to check his stuff out to see what all the damn fuss is about...
Apothecary - 30.08.2013 at 22:23  
Written by psykometal on 30.08.2013 at 21:47

All you fuckers and your RoB obsession, guess I'm gona have to check his stuff out to see what all the damn fuss is about...

You're not a noobie to the Meilenwald, are you?
Well, if you are, start with Unlock the Shrine and just go forward in his discography. It's cool to see how his sound has evolved over the years. None of his albums are bad, and each has its own distinct sound... kinda like Devin Townsend.
Mr. Doctor - 30.08.2013 at 22:38  
Honestly, I'd be surprised if he likes it.
psykometal - 30.08.2013 at 22:46  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 30.08.2013 at 22:38

Honestly, I'd be surprised if he likes it.

YOU DON'T KNOW ME, FOOL!!!
psykometal - 30.08.2013 at 22:50  
Written by Apothecary on 30.08.2013 at 22:23

You're not a noobie to the Meilenwald, are you?
Well, if you are, start with Unlock the Shrine and just go forward in his discography. It's cool to see how his sound has evolved over the years. None of his albums are bad, and each has its own distinct sound... kinda like Devin Townsend.

Never heard any of Meilenwald's stuff before. About 5 years ago I couldn't get enough of all kinds of black metal, but in the last several years my tastes have shifted more towards death metal than black metal.

(Rod might be right, but fuck him! )
Apothecary - 31.08.2013 at 00:40  
Written by psykometal on 30.08.2013 at 22:50

Never heard any of Meilenwald's stuff before.

Well, if you like black and doom metal, with some dark classical cherries on top, hop to it!
*Nagelfar is also great of course, but I'd recommend you start with RoB for a better idea of his individual personality as a musician.
Merchant of Doom - 31.08.2013 at 00:54  
Written by Apothecary on 30.08.2013 at 21:15

Written by Merchant of Doom on 30.08.2013 at 19:07

I have my contacts...

Indeed, those in the MS hierarchy aren't the only ones with connections. An 8 is still very good though, glad you enjoy it. It's one of those albums that definitely grows on you though, and where you find things you didn't before on each listen, so maybe you'll want to reconsider that rating after a few more listens


I do belong to "another site", as you know... we do get our perks too... BTW, my "8" is after a few listens. We were in fact discussing "amongst us" that the album is indeed a grower. I can't see it going that much up, though. Maybe half point.
psykometal - 31.08.2013 at 01:10  
Written by Apothecary on 31.08.2013 at 00:40

Well, if you like black and doom metal, with some dark classical cherries on top, hop to it!

I did quite enjoy Faal's latest album. From what I understand they fall into the category of black/doom.

Doom isn't really my thing though, so I don't generally care for the genre much, but I have found a few nice gems here and there thanks to Marcel, Craig and Erik.
strade - 31.08.2013 at 03:44  
Written by Apothecary on 30.08.2013 at 17:56

Written by Pazdzioch on 30.08.2013 at 17:49

There is no chance of beating one of my favorite albums of all time which is 'Rain Upon The Impure' but should be interesting judging by your review.

Interesting that you take that one as your favorite, that's usually the one RoB album I see most people not liking because of the dirty as fuck production


Actually, Reign upon the Impure is the most highly regarded of theirs on many websites including the Metal Archives (though that appears not to be the case here). Personally I love the sound of that record; it's utterly destructive.

Good review. Really hoping this album and the new Orannsi Pazuzu break out to be great records in what has been a rather unremarkable year for me.
Marcel Hubregtse - 31.08.2013 at 13:51  
Haven't heard it yet, but I am sure it will be good. But I have to say the Guy's surname is Von Meilenwald NOT Meilenwald, so stop calling him Meilenwald for short
Apothecary - 31.08.2013 at 15:31  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 31.08.2013 at 13:51

But I have to say the Guy's surname is Von Meilenwald NOT Meilenwald, so stop calling him Meilenwald for short

Duly noted
psykometal - 31.08.2013 at 16:37  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 31.08.2013 at 13:51

Haven't heard it yet, but I am sure it will be good. But I have to say the Guy's surname is Von Meilenwald NOT Meilenwald, so stop calling him Meilenwald for short

But Meilenwald is so much shorter. And let's be realistic here...how many people really give a fuck about Von?
Marcel Hubregtse - 31.08.2013 at 16:40  
Written by psykometal on 31.08.2013 at 16:37

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 31.08.2013 at 13:51

Haven't heard it yet, but I am sure it will be good. But I have to say the Guy's surname is Von Meilenwald NOT Meilenwald, so stop calling him Meilenwald for short

But Meilenwald is so much shorter. And let's be realistic here...how many people really give a fuck about Von?


VON can go and die especially after I have seen them live, what a pathetic gig that was

And if you really want to shorten his surname then just call him Meily of Waldy
psykometal - 31.08.2013 at 17:27  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 31.08.2013 at 16:40

And if you really want to shorten his surname then just call him Meily of Waldy

How bout Meily Virus? Sounds like a kool enough black metal parody of the pop star to me...
Marcel Hubregtse - 31.08.2013 at 17:32  
Written by psykometal on 31.08.2013 at 17:27

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 31.08.2013 at 16:40

And if you really want to shorten his surname then just call him Meily of Waldy

How bout Meily Virus? Sounds like a kool enough black metal parody of the pop star to me...


Apothecary - 31.08.2013 at 17:38  
Written by psykometal on 31.08.2013 at 17:27

How bout Meily Virus?

You're terrible, now that's gonna be in my head every time I listen to this
psykometal - 31.08.2013 at 19:30  
Written by Apothecary on 31.08.2013 at 17:38

You're terrible, now that's gonna be in my head every time I listen to this

You're welcome!
Konrad - 01.09.2013 at 15:36  
Written by Apothecary on 30.08.2013 at 17:56

Written by Pazdzioch on 30.08.2013 at 17:49

There is no chance of beating one of my favorite albums of all time which is 'Rain Upon The Impure' but should be interesting judging by your review.

Interesting that you take that one as your favorite, that's usually the one RoB album I see most people not liking because of the dirty as fuck production
But of course, that's just part of the beauty of it. You know a composer is talented when all of their releases are more or less excellent, and all have a distinct sound that can attract different tastes in people.


Actually, Rain Upon The Impure is widely regarded as Meilenwald's true masterpiece. I believe it to be the absolute greatest black metal album ever written, but you're right about all of his albums sounding incredible and being completely different.

As for this album, it's a bit of a chore at times... probably his weakest. But I still would score it a 9 at the very least. Nice review.
!J.O.O.E.! - 01.09.2013 at 16:10  
Written by Konrad on 01.09.2013 at 15:36

Actually, Rain Upon The Impure is widely regarded as Meilenwald's true masterpiece. I believe it to be the absolute greatest black metal album ever written, but you're right about all of his albums sounding incredible and being completely different.

As for this album, it's a bit of a chore at times... probably his weakest. But I still would score it a 9 at the very least. Nice review.

"Widely regarded" by whom? That's misinformation if you ask me. RUtI has as many detractors as it does fans owing to its clear weaknesses in its production. Just compare its score on MS, RYM, Discogs etc. and you'll see referring to it in such a manner is a little disingenuous because it clearly isn't people's favourite (and certainly not mine).
Konrad - 01.09.2013 at 16:59  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 01.09.2013 at 16:10

Written by Konrad on 01.09.2013 at 15:36

Actually, Rain Upon The Impure is widely regarded as Meilenwald's true masterpiece. I believe it to be the absolute greatest black metal album ever written, but you're right about all of his albums sounding incredible and being completely different.

As for this album, it's a bit of a chore at times... probably his weakest. But I still would score it a 9 at the very least. Nice review.

"Widely regarded" by whom? That's misinformation if you ask me. RUtI has as many detractors as it does fans owing to its clear weaknesses in its production. Just compare its score on MS, RYM, Discogs etc. and you'll see referring to it in such a manner is a little disingenuous because it clearly isn't people's favourite (and certainly not mine).


Its score on m-a rates it as the highest, and bestblackmetalalbums.com rates it as the #1 black metal album of all time. Within many black metal circles, including Aachen, many people think RAIN is easily the Meisterwerk and praise its production BECAUSE you have to stretch your ears so much to grasp everything that's occurring. Black metal isn't supposed to have perfect production. That was one of the main things Varg spoke out about back in the day. I think the album holds very true to the original philosophies of the genre, but is also easily the most expansive thing Beverast ever released, by a long shot. It's all subjective, though, but there are certainly credible sources out there that hold Rain Upon the Impure in the highest esteem.
psykometal - 01.09.2013 at 17:04  
Cuz Metal Archives and a little known site that caters only to Black Metal (and is likely rife with BM elitists) are really all that credible when compared to the aforementioned broader aspect sites.
!J.O.O.E.! - 01.09.2013 at 17:07  
Written by Konrad on 01.09.2013 at 16:59

Its score on m-a rates it as the highest, and bestblackmetalalbums.com rates it as the #1 black metal album of all time. Within many black metal circles, including Aachen, many people think RAIN is easily the Meisterwerk and praise its production BECAUSE you have to stretch your ears so much to grasp everything that's occurring. Black metal isn't supposed to have perfect production. That was one of the main things Varg spoke out about back in the day. I think the album holds very true to the original philosophies of the genre, but is also easily the most expansive thing Beverast ever released, by a long shot. It's all subjective, though, but there are certainly credible sources out there that hold Rain Upon the Impure in the highest esteem.

MA has a whopping 4% higher from 6 reviewers. That's basically nothing when indicating a mass consensus. And having it atop of a self described black metal rating site is about as equally relevant and it's most likely decided by one or a very few number of people (yep, the 97% is from "Our Score" i.e. one person from the site that reviewed it. The "user" rating is actually higher on Unlock the Shrine on that very site). What counts when using terms like "widely regarded" is avoiding the tropes like "within certain circles" arguments because that translates to "I know a couple of people who share my opinion" and ultimately doesn't mean nearly as much as statistical information that correlate hundreds of individual opinions.

I appreciate your insights into what black metal is suppose to and not supposed to be but this is one perspective from one person, and doesn't really mean much in the grand stream of things (I also don't agree that any black metal album to be great has to hark back to when stuff was recorded on a microphone). I personally have never read anyone say that Rain Upon The Impure is great because it forces you to grasp everything that's occuring, so it can't be that prominent an opinion, especially when "it sounded like shit, I can hear sod all" is a much more common view of it.

Also worth pointing out that "bestblackmetalalbums" has a Nargaroth album at number 3. That's pretty much that site's reputation and credibility screwed then And Drautran at number 6?! Who the fuck cares about Drautran?! DsO's best album is apparently Inquisitors of Satan. There also seems to be an oddly high number of German bands at the top. Yeah, you might want to stop visiting that site unless you want some seriously skewed ratings about black metal albums. It's clearly inhabited by a small and odd collection of people (mostly Germans I would think)

Haha, yes, Zep is right.
Konrad - 01.09.2013 at 17:26  
!J.O.O.E.!, I praise your tastes and ability to find countless albums that I would have never been able to find! This argument, however, is pointless. Glad to see TRoB getting praise, regardless of which album it is!
Apothecary - 01.09.2013 at 17:30  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 01.09.2013 at 17:07

Also worth pointing out that "bestblackmetalalbums" has a Nargaroth album at number 3. That's pretty much that site's reputation and credibility screwed then

Sounds like a site run by a bunch of kvlt heads who have little to no idea (or appreciation) about the jewels of more unorthodox forms of black metal
!J.O.O.E.! - 01.09.2013 at 17:38  
Yeah I'm not quite sure how their top 100 system works really. If you click on any of them they have an "our score" which seems to determine the position so I'm wondering if it is just one person running it. The user scores don't appear to affect where it appears in the list, in fact it says in the disclaimer at the top that where these albums appear in the list is determined by what score "we" give them, so it really is quite an outrageous name for a site considering how few people are effecting the album positions.
Konrad - 01.09.2013 at 18:06  
There are also plenty of message board searches you can do where similar conversations have taken place. Usually, people either state Rain as the best, or they don't have a definitive answer. Most people on our forums (lastrit.es) prefer Rain, but some like UTS the most. Although there are more popular websites out there, I wouldn't say that popularity = credibility. Perhaps I should have said "widely regarded among more underground circles." Obviously Rain isn't going to be accessible to a lot of people. I only say that from experience... I used to hate the album! Lol

But in general, I usually hear either people loving Rain the most or they like all the albums. I think this new one is definitely the weakest out of the four, but it's still excellent! Don't think it's an automatic win for BM AOTY yet, though!
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.09.2013 at 19:35  
Finally gave this a go. It's definitely solid, with a good sound, but yeah, it's actually a bit boring to be honest. I'll be giving it more goes of course but it's just not as exciting as the band has been on other records.
Apothecary - 02.09.2013 at 20:52  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.09.2013 at 19:35

It's actually a bit boring to be honest.

BLASPHEMY I SAY!!!
Seriously though, what's boring about it? It is a bit of a concept album, with some parts that can indeed feel like they drag on a bit, but I think after you listen to it for a few times it all connects. Imo, Blood Vaults balances the two sides of Meilenwald's musical personality (the black and the doom) better than ever before. Of course, though, it's gonna be compared to the earlier albums, it'll just be more of that whole immature kvlt standard. Black metal albums are nearly always judged on the basis of how orthodox they sound: as you see on here, Unlock the Shrine is the one RoB album that's most in a "pure" BM style, and thus it's the one with the highest rating. It's so predictable it's laughable. I can already smell all the kvlt heads claiming that this album is invalid because it's not blackened enough. Typical elitist bullshit, that silly attitude should be saved for the rigidity of thrash and death metal, it has no place in the ever-evolving nature of black metal.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.09.2013 at 21:00  
Written by Apothecary on 02.09.2013 at 20:52

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.09.2013 at 19:35

It's actually a bit boring to be honest.

BLASPHEMY I SAY!!!
Seriously though, what's boring about it? It is a bit of a concept album, with some parts that can indeed feel like they drag on a bit, but I think after you listen to it for a few times it all connects. Imo, Blood Vaults balances the two sides of Meilenwald's musical personality (the black and the doom) better than ever before. Of course, though, it's gonna be compared to the earlier albums, it'll just be more of that whole immature kvlt standard. Black metal albums are nearly always judged on the basis of how orthodox they sound: as you see on here, Unlock the Shrine is the one RoB album that's most in a "pure" BM style, and thus it's the one with the highest rating. It's so predictable it's laughable. I can already smell all the kvlt heads claiming that this album is invalid because it's not blackened enough. Typical elitist bullshit, that silly attitude should be saved for the rigidity of thrash and death metal, it has no place in the ever-evolving nature of black metal.


Whoa there, I think you're getting ahead of yourself because of my own personal preferences. Would rather you didn't project my opinion onto some of the worst members of the black metal community too Actually i'd say Rain Upon The Impure is the closest TRoB have ever gotten to standard black metal to be honest. Unlock The Shrine I once saw described as "Gloom Metal" and I always felt that was a great term for it.

What can I say about this one? Nothing stuck with me for the first listen. The second track (the first proper track) was very simplistic and plodding and felt like it kept to a similar rhythm throughout, and generally the riffs sounded like things I'd heard from the band before. Perhaps I've become accustomed to rigid changes with each new record and this one just sounded a little too close to the previous one. I don't really know for the moment, I'll need more listens to know for sure. This was my preliminary opinion; far before the album had finished I kinda just wanted it to end so I could get onto the new Ulcerate. Kind of a first for a TRoB album.

[EDIT]

In actual fact, I'm going to have to disagree with your assertion that this is his most balanced in terms of black and doom. I thought I'd missed out whole songs when you said that so I just had a skim through and I would wage that black metal is even less prominent on this one than the previous one. There's only one purely black metal track on this one (Ordeal) and at best there's very intermittent bursts of black metal in other tracks, but more importantly, compared to Foulest the sound is a little on the dull and clean side, and lacks a bit of depth. Far less than Foulest Semen to my ears. This is probably why it didn't hold my interest for the entire 75 minutes.
Apothecary - 02.09.2013 at 21:38  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.09.2013 at 21:00

Would rather you didn't project my opinion onto some of the worst members of the black metal community too

...lacks a bit of depth

Nah, I didn't mean to, sorry if it came across like that. I just meant that I know a lot of people aren't going to like this album because it's even more of a departure from his black metal sound, and that that kind of behavior is really cliché and immature. You on the other hand, actually have a good and well though-out reason for not being too crazy about it
"Ordeal" really is the only full black metal track, and a brief one at that, you're right. But as I said in the review, this isn't a black metal album: it's a blackened doom album. The harsher elements are there, but they're played in the doom style, and that to me is what completes the fusion of genres and helps make the album a really beautiful work of art. As far as "it lacks a bit of depth"... I guess we have different definitions of "depth"... I usually define it as atmosphere, or some type of all-enveloping essence that makes the sound whole. And on this album, those would be all the dark choir elements that run in the background of almost all the tracks. That's what really gives it a mood, like I said in the review, and helps make it more than just another bland metal album. And also, let's not forget that this is a one man band. Not implying that you do, but in general I think it's kind of silly for anyone to think that this release would be in any one defined style. The beauty of one man bands is that they force the composer to be innovative: they're not supposed to sound like anything you've heard before, and if they do then imo the composer hasn't realized their true creative potential.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.09.2013 at 21:46  
Written by Apothecary on 02.09.2013 at 21:38

Nah, I didn't mean to, sorry if it came across like that. I just meant that I know a lot of people aren't going to like this album because it's even more of a departure from his black metal sound, and that that kind of behavior is really cliché and immature. You on the other hand, actually have a good and well though-out reason for not being too crazy about it
"Ordeal" really is the only full black metal track, and a brief one at that, you're right. But as I said in the review, this isn't a black metal album: it's a blackened doom album. The harsher elements are there, but they're played in the doom style, and that to me is what completes the fusion of genres and helps make the album a really beautiful work of art. As far as "it lacks a bit of depth"... I guess we have different definitions of "depth"... I usually define it as atmosphere, or some type of all-enveloping essence that makes the sound whole. And on this album, those would be all the dark choir elements that run in the background of almost all the tracks. That's what really gives it a mood, like I said in the review, and helps make it more than just another bland metal album. And also, let's not forget that this is a one man band. Not implying that you do, but in general I think it's kind of silly for anyone to think that this release would be in any one defined style. The beauty of one man bands is that they force the composer to be innovative: they're not supposed to sound like anything you've heard before, and if they do then imo the composer hasn't realized their true creative potential.

I have trouble considering this a blackened doom album. Granted, some of the detailing is undoubtedly black metal but the sound is so geared toward doom now that is just seems like an afterthought. Blackened doom should have at least some kind of grainy aesthetic which I'm really not picking up on.

Quote:
I usually define it as atmosphere, or some type of all-enveloping essence that makes the sound whole


That's precisely how I define it. Here the "atmosphere" has been replaced by overly clear instrumentation. The guitars are sharper and clearer, the drums are higher in the mix and more defined and the choir elements feel slightly displaced. As a result I'm suddenly very aware of the space in between the instruments. I imagine them as layers on top of each other, whereas before they were more combined in form. To me that's a trait of well-produced doom, which is why this to me is very much a doom album. As I say it's a good solid album, but the aesthetic is off and each riff, vocal and drum beat is far less affecting than it used to be. Ultimately it's because I can so easily classify it that I'm not as enthralled as I would like to be, because I like surprises. I honestly thought it would be a bit more out there rather than feeling a little conventional and reliant on standard doom tropes.
Apothecary - 02.09.2013 at 21:57  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.09.2013 at 21:46

That's precisely how I define it. Here the "atmosphere" has been replaced by overly clear instrumentation. The guitars are sharper and clearer, the drums are higher in the mix and more defined and the choir elements feel slightly displaced. As a result I'm suddenly very aware of the space in between the instruments. I imagine them as layers on top of each other, whereas before they were more combined in form. To me that's a trait of well-produced doom, which is why this to me is very much a doom album.

It feels like a little of both to me, like you can hear each instrument individually as itself, but you can also hear them all in relation to the tracks as whole. Got some serious Atman/Brahman shit going on
As far as "very much a doom album"... Rodrigo and I were talking about this the other day, as to whether or not this album would be nominated (if it gets a nomination, which it probably will) in the black metal or extreme doom category. When you put it the way you did, it seems like the latter. Which would really suck because to me, even now, The Ruins Of Beverast isn't an extreme doom band, and if it was nominated in that category it'd probably be easily beaten out by a more experienced master of the craft

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