Ringarë - Sorrow Befell review

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Band: Ringarë
Album: Sorrow Befell
Release date: June 2020

01. Sorrow Befell
02. Warlock Of Fathomless Plagues
03. Blood Pact Sanctity
04. Forever In Shadow
05. Lightless Descent I
06. Lightless Descent II
07. Lightless Descent III
08. Lightless Descent IV

I'm starting to think Ringarë might be becoming its actual thing instead of being just pre-Chaos Moon material.

Ringarë, originally Ringar, was basically the pre-Chaos Moon project of Alex Poole, who you may also know from bands like Krieg or Skáphe (or from this interview). It was originally active around 2004, became Chaos Moon, but then Alex Poole revived the project along with vocalist Likpredikaren, who you may know from Musmahhu, and released Under Pale Moon. It was pretty well received. From my understanding, it was made up of old Ringarë material that didn't end up in further Chaos Moon releases. At this point, Ringarë have also released Where Cold Dwells And Winter Once Lay, and finally Sorrow Befell. So maybe it's not just old material brought to life anymore.

I've seen Sorrow Befell called a demo, but who knows. Quality-wise, this is pretty much on par with Where Cold Dwells And Winter Once Lay, so I don't really see the need to not call this one a full length proper. If you've listened to the previous one, you know what to expect, as most of it inherits the same symphonic/ambient black metal sound. The most powerful instrument remains the all encompassing synth, that creates some truly majestic soundscapes almost ripped out of the mid 90s Norway, or from another Bandcamp-only dungeon synth release. The best thing about the first half of the album is the contrast between the ambiental synths, and the black metal parts, with its shrieks and bursts of speed, don't really seem to go in line, but find a beautiful balance nonetheless.

The black metal parts are contained only within the first half of the record, with the second half being purely ambiental synth-based. And it is here that the title of the album, Sorrow Befell feels more appropriate. It being ambient obviously would make it more prone to setting a mood, and while there are a bajillion other emotional synth based ambient records that are probably more emotional than this, it still manages to be gripping. If the 90s worship of the first four track didn't steer away people looking for something new, neither will the synth worship. Regardless of the style or the amount of aggression in it, Ringarë manage to make it sound authentic despite being a rehash of older sounds. It's like a portal to older times. Maybe that's why it's considered a demo.

Even if Ringarë start becoming more of a band in of itself, I don't think they will evolve much from this sound. But listening to Sorrow Befell, I don't think I want it to. Alex Poole has enough other projects to push forward the boundaries of extreme music *cough* Skáphe *cough* so I wouldn't mind finding some comfort synthy black metal here.


Written on 09.07.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 27 users
10.07.2020 - 09:57
Just like the previous one; not groundbreaking, but enjoyable. I really liked the ambient-only second part.

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