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Ruins of Beverast, The: Blood Vaults—The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer

The Ruins of Beverast is the solo project of Alexander von Meilenwald, the former drummer for the well-known German black metal band Nagelfar. Released back in September, this album has most likely many fans already. For those unfamiliar with either the band or this album, The Ruins of Beverast has been around for about ten years and has released four albums so far. With this album, the band pushes its dark blend of black metal and atmospheric doom in even more bold gestures.

It's hard to describe the effect of black metal to those unfamiliar with it. Lots of people tend to rely on a blend of positive and negative terms. The reason for that, I think, is because the music is not simply about negating other kinds of music. Instead, the very darkness of the music has something to do with searching for emotions, feelings, and experiences that may have been overlooked by traditional musical forms, cultural values, and organized beliefs. The music on this album is uncompromisingly dark but also has a consistent brooding and doomy quality to it, one that gives things an almost reverent quality.

Meilenwald's voice is rough and guttural. He sometimes gives it a frightening, otherworldly, quality by adding some kind of rapid repetition effect that makes his voice sound as though he is speaking with several tongues all at once. Aside from that, the music is mostly made up of traditional metal instruments with some keyboards and chants thrown in as needed. The overall effect is a little like the soundtrack to either a really scary horror movie or the sacred music of a pagan cult. The promotional materials refer to the songs as "hymns"; I think I understand why. As I mentioned above, this kind of music often gives the impression of searching for something transcendent, as though it recognizes the need for the sacred in an otherwise dark and twisted world. Whatever it is, this album succeeds where others fail.

Track Listing:
1. Apologia
2. Daemon
3. Malefica
4. Ornaments on Malice
5. Spires, the Wailing City
6. A Failed Exorcism
7. Trial
8. Ordeal
9. Monument

Added: January 16th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1652
Language: english

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