Italy's Kaiserreich will have Dimmu Borgir weeping in envy at Ravencrowned's opener, 'Hapax Legomenon'. The production on this track is crisp and clear and the experience is as that of the exaggerated Hollywood tales of those parodical bulging-bicep mythical macho heroes of the days of yore. Muscular, martial and symphonic as it may be however, this is where Kaiserreich blew most of the budget and from 'Vae Victus' through to closer 'Tempest (of the Unwept Tear)', the production reverts to that of black metal shadow, murk, recorded-in-a-wind-tunnel dirge. The unending torment of the vocals are maliciously snarled out over a brutal ambience that shifts between barren black-sand desert textures and dust-blown monolithic magnitude. Tracks such as 'Dreamfall (Pure, Tortured Heart)' and 'Tempest (of the Unwept Tear)' delve into variations in tempo and temper and, though daring in their exploration, quickly return to the modus operandi of the genre in which they are clearly adept. Played with precision and seething with enough brutality to strike terror into the heart of many a miscreant, Ravencrowned is a competent and raw black metal album. Were Kaiserreich willing to push out of their discomfort zone into more experimental territory however, this would have been a remarkable album.
2. Vae Victus
3. Dreamfall (Pure, Tortured Heart)
5. Lunes ov Judgement
6. Cobra Legion Arose
8. Coure Nero
9. Den Verkschythend
10. Tempest (of the Unwept Tear)