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Count Raven: Storm Warning/Destruction of the Void (reissues)

Veteran Swedish doom act Count Raven blazed a trail of intense Black Sabbath worship between 1989 and 1996, breaking up for a number of years before reforming with a new line-up in 2003 that saw some starts and stops before the band recorded their fifth studio album in 2009. The group still exists today with some occasional appearances on the live circuit, but the folks at Metal Blade Records have graciously reissued the bands first four studio albums for those who might have missed them the first time around. Here we are looking at their first two releases, Storm Warning and Destruction of the Void, originally released in 1990 and 1992. The line-up for both of these albums was Christian Linderson (vocals on Storm Warning), Dan 'Fodde' Fondelius (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Christer 'Renfield' Pettersson (drums), and Tommy 'Wilbur' Eriksson (bass).

1990 saw the band release their debut Storm Warning, a solid enough album squarely in the mold of early Sabbath, Linderson's vocals sounding close enough to early Ozzy while Fondelius provides the menacing doom riffs that you would expect from the legendary Tony Iommi. Production values are a little rough here, but it only adds to the ominous nature of the songs, highlights being "In the Name of Rock 'n' Roll", Inam Naudemina", and the epic "A Devastating Age", complete with some monstrous riffing from Fondelius. A strong debut, but it pales in comparison to what was to follow. Metal Blade has included two bonus tracks on this reissue, the song "High Beliefs" and the demo cut "Frightened Eyes Never Lie", the first easily the better of the two.

Destruction of the Void is a must listen for any fan of the first handful of Black Sabbath albums, with Fondelius now taking over the lead vocal slot with his perfect imitation of Ozzy as well as thunderous Iommi styled riffage. The tunes here are quite good and of course heavy as hell, with the title track, "Let the Dead Bury the Dead", "Until Death Do Us Part", and "Leaving the Warzone" packing plenty of heft in the dirge department. Other standout tracks here include the rampaging "The Final Journey" and the grinding doom machine "Angel of Death", each one sounding like leftovers from early Sabbath studio sessions. One track though stands a bit above the others, "No One's Hero", which is sort of like a doomy trash piece complete with some terrific speedy riffs to along with the more ponderous standard doom power chords. Two bonus tracks are included on this reissue, demo cuts "Point of Youth" and "Sworn to Fun", each one decent enough but not nearly close to the quality of what's on display on Destruction of the Void. My guess is these were recorded earlier in the bands career, as it sounds like Linderson on vocals.

While certainly not the most original band on the planet, Count Raven are still great at what they do, which is deliver classic Black Sabbath inspired doom metal. 3 stars for the debut, and an easy 4 for the follow-up.

Track Listing
Storm Warning

  1. Intro: Count Raven 3:08
  2. Inam Naudemina 5:51
  3. True Revelation 8:56
  4. In the Name of Rock 'n' Roll 4:25
  5. Sometimes a Great Nation 6:06
  6. Within the Garden of Mirrors 6:59
  7. A Devastating Age 8:40
  8. How Can It Be 6:23
  9. Social Warfare 7:21
  10. High Beliefs (Bonus) 5:32
  11. Frightened Eyes Never Lie (Demo) 4:09

Destruction of the Void

  1. Until Death Do Us Part 7:45
  2. Hippies Triumph 4:48
  3. Destruction of the Void 4:43
  4. Let the Dead Bury the Dead 5:45
  5. Northern Lights 3:50
  6. Leaving the Warzone 6:57
  7. Angel of Death 7:10
  8. The Final Journey 6:57
  9. No One's Hero 4:52
  10. Europa 4:00
  11. Point of Youth (Demo) 4:17
  12. Sworn to Fun (Demo) 4:40

Added: June 14th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1163
Language: english

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