As one of Turkey's few extreme metal exports, Ankara-based outfit Ravenwoods have carried the country's flag since their formation back in 1998. With their second full-length album, Enfeebling the Throne, the band not only offers something unique to the Turkish metal scene, but also to the metal scene at large. Ravenwood's blend of various sub-genres of death metal and black metal, as well as occasional acoustic folk sections, makes their sound stand out as something unique in the crowded extreme metal climate. Enfeebling the Throne does feel a bit incoherent and conventional at times, but it's generally an impressive effort well-worth the attention of any death metal fan.
Enfeebling the Throne's Middle Eastern-tinged blackened death metal style does nod in the direction of Nile and Behemoth, although I wouldn't consider Ravenwoods a clone by any stretch. The band does have their own sound, even if they do wear their influences proudly on their sleeves. Ravenwoods's genre-blending concoction is executed by solid compositions and terrific musicianship, especially in the drum department. Most of the songs here are quite memorable, even if they may feel a tad incoherent and occasionally formulaic. A bit more consistency in terms of songwriting quality would've been greatly beneficial to Enfeebling the Throne. As previously mentioned, the musicians that make up Ravenwoods are an absolute blast to listen to. These guys are professionals who know their craft well, and listening to the way the tasteful riffs, frantic drumwork, and brutal vocals meld together is terrific.
Although Enfeebling the Throne is not a flawless album - the genre hopping occasionally lacks coherency and the songwriting does have a definite formula - it's generally a very strong and highly enjoyable listen. Ravenwoods are a band with plenty of promise, and most of that potential is lived up to on Enfeebling the Throne. People in search of something a bit different from the average death metal album will find plenty to love here. 3.5 stars are well-deserved.
1. Zāhir&Bātin (intro)
2. Enfeebling The Throne
3. Breathless Solace
4. Ecstacy Through Carnage
5. Torture Palace
7. Inward Massacre
8. Stay (Dedicated to Evren'Duskhunter, R.I.P.)
9. The Grey Cold Shade
10. The Fading Trace
11. Azab-I Mukaddes (feat Mercan Dede)