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Count Raven: High on Infinity/Messiah of Confusion (reissues)

Metal Blade's reissues of the Count Raven catalog concludes with their 1994 & 1996 releases, High on Infinity and Messiah of Confusion, both sizzling examples of the band's brand of compelling, Black Sabbath inspired doom. At the time, the band were comprised of Dan "Fodde" Fondelius (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Christer "Renfield" Pettersson (drums), and Tommy "Wilbur" Eriksson (bass), a Swedish power trio intent on keeping doom metal alive and well into the 1990's.

Close your eyes and slap on High on Infinity, and you'd be hard pressed to deny that this material could have easily been long lost recordings from Black Sabbath's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, from Fondelius' Tony Iommi styled riffing as well as his uncanny Ozzy inflected vocals, to the pulverizing rhythm section. "Jen" and "Children's Holocaust" are lethal doom mashers, heavy with plenty of evil vibes, and the rambling riffs of "In Honour" are pure headbanging bliss. "The Madman From Waco" has more of a Technical Ecstasy or Never Say Die vibe going on, while "Masters of All Evil", the longest track here, could have easily sat on Ozzy's Diary of a Madman album. Other highlights on this one include the bruising "An Ordinary Loser", the grinding "Traitor", the rampaging "Lost World", and the venomous dirge that is "The Coming", all chock full of wonderful, distorted doom riffage that will thrill any fan of the genre.

Over to Messiah of Confusion, their last release in the '90s, things pick up right where they left off, but with a seemingly concerted effort to write longer compositions, with almost half the tracks exceeding six minutes and one even passing eleven. "Prediction" and "The Loneliest One" are mid tempo dirges that again recall Sabbath Bloody Sabbath or Sabotage era Sabbath, while the brutish riffs of "Fallen Angels", "PSI Power", and "Shine" perfectly combine early Sabbath with the then burgeoning stoner scene. "The Viking Sea" is the tune that clocks in over the 11-minute mark, an epic track that packs in mountainous riffs surrounded by a proggy vibe and a blazing wah-wah guitar solo, a really powerful closing statement here to end the album. Also, tossed in as a bonus track is the fun "Regression", the bands lengthy Black Sabbath medley where they quickly mesh a bunch of classic songs and show just how similar they sound to the mighty Sabs.

If you love the vintage Ozzy era Black Sabbath sound, this Swedish trio will be a revelation. In case you missed these albums back in the '90s, Metal Blade has now made them available again on vinyl for everyone to enjoy.

Track Listing
High On Infinity

  1. Jen 6:13
  2. Children's Holocaust 6:44
  3. In Honour 4:38
  4. The Madman from Waco 4:20
  5. Masters of All Evil 8:20
  6. Ode to Rebecca 2:48
  7. High on Infinity 4:52
  8. An Ordinary Loser 5:54
  9. Traitor 6:47
  10. The Dance 1:42
  11. The Coming 6:14
  12. Lost World 4:10
  13. Cosmos 4:02
  14. Chrittes Triumph (Bonus) 4:50

Messiah of Confusion

  1. Prediction 7:42
  2. Shadow Box 4:58
  3. The Loneliest One 5:58
  4. Fallen Angels 4:22
  5. Mountains Spirit 1:42
  6. The Lie of Life 7:05
  7. P.S.I. Power 6:06
  8. Shine 5:08
  9. Regression (Bonus) 10:45
  10. The Divided World 5:29
  11. The Viking Sea 11:20

Added: August 25th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 681
Language: english

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