Raven Woods has been active in the Turkish underground metal scene for a long time now, and through years of dedication and perseverance, they have finally released their first full-length album nearly seven years after their formation. Titled ...And Emotions Are Spilled, the new album marks certain stylistic changes in the band's sound and direction. Raven Woods started out as a melodic black metal outfit, releasing several demos on compilations and EPs, but their new album is more of a mixture of black, death, and even doom metal at times.
The new sound Raven Woods have crafted immediately presents itself with the short yet hard-hitting album starter "Inward Massacre", a piece that wastes no time venturing into a heavy, almost thrash-inflected main riff, and gets notable drum and bass power before Aybars Altay's deeply guttural growls are heard. A familiar Turkish motif creeps into the composition secretly, characterising the number as a typical Middle Eastern piece, hence separating Raven Woods from innumerable European and American bands out there. The Turkish melodies are retained in a heavier capacity on "Bone House Corporation", utilising traditional ney sounds (Mezarkabul anyone?) by world-famous musician Arkin Alkan, and riffs deeply rooted in the European death metal scene.
The acoustic intro of "Ravenwoods" recalls Opeth circa Orchid in the way that it blends black shrieks with death growls, but otherwise, this is still very much Raven Woods, particularly similar to their older work. The subtle keyboards at the end are pretty cool. The band mostly displays their black metal roots on the tremelo-picked "Soulside Execution", with very heavy riffage, both growls and screams, and on top of it all, exotic ney melodies during a beautifully serene passage. "Betray" is a melancholic instrumental (with a sweet bass tone) and melodic guitar lines; while the band also uses some nice clean vocals on the last few songs, best exemplified on the title track, a piece where Ozan Yildirim's drums sparkle throughout, and the double guitar work shreds you to pieces. The song closes with nice atmospheric synths and calm, clean vocals laid on top of them. This might be the heaviest song with multiple chord changes, slow and really heavy sections, gloomy acoustic guitars, and awesome vocal melodies.
Raven Woods have arrived with an album where they've clearly solidified their songwriting and given it a more unique edge. This is highly recommended to fans of black and death metal that also like to hear some traditional instruments and Turkish melodies in parts.
- Inward Massacre
- Bone House Corporation
- Soulside Execution
- ...And Emotions Are Spilled
- Stolen & Erased