Rising from the ashes of long time German band Nagelfar comes a one man black metal apocalypse called Ruins of Beverast. This debut full length CD called Unlock The Shrine proves that there are artists in black metal who are interested in pushing the genre further and further away from where most of BM has gone. A lot of the one dimensional drivel that exists today sounds contrived and even downright foolish at times, but Ruins of Beverast don't fall into this category because he (Alexander von Meilenwald) is intent on capturing the true spirit of BM through sonic collages and long drawn out songs which depict not only a physical apocalypse but a spiritual one as well.
The tracks on Unlock The Shrine can best be described as progressive and almost symphonic in nature, with an added emphasis on doom and Goth influences as well. Many of the songs run close to or over 6 minutes in length with 2 tracks clocking in at over 10 minutes. Sandwiched in between many of these longer songs, von Meilenwald inserts some very creepy and atmospheric pieces of music, which act as great bookends to these longer epics. "Between Bronze Walls" kicks things off and plunges you headlong into the abyss with its slow, droning tempo before things gradually speed up around the 3 minute mark. Shimmering keyboards enter the mix and the ghost like vocals take over. The track closes with some nice layered melodic guitar work before introducing you to the eerie and almost Celtic Frost like instrumental "Skeleton Coast". "Euphoria When The Bombs Fell" is another early highlight with its breakneck rapid fire drumming and layered guitar work, before it breaks down in tempo and a vocal choir and crowd cheering appear to shake things up a bit. "God Sent No Sign, another instrumental, is very psychedelic with its tinges of Black Sabbath-ish guitar work. "The Clockhand's Groaning Circles" also features some great, plodding, Sabbath style riffs for the songs closing 4 minutes. "Summer Decapitation Ritual", definitely one of the CD's strongest numbers, continues the unrelenting onslaught, but this track is quite unique for its use of synth-style horns which are featured throughout the song. The disc ends in a flurry with "Unlock The Shrine" and "The Mine" and before you know it there is nothing left but silence, where for the past 70 minutes you have been sonically bludgeoned and treated to some of the finest black / Goth metal to come out in a long time. Ruins of Beverast have provided the soundtrack for your spiritual collapse; the rest is up to you.
1) Between Bronze Walls
2) Skeleton Coast
3) Euphoria When The Bombs Fell
4) God Sent No Sign
5) The Clockhand's Groaning Circles
6) Procession of Pawns
7) Summer Decapitation Ritual
9) Unlock The Shrine
10) Subterranean Homicide Lamentation
11) The Mine
12) White Abyss