The Ruins of Beverast is the one-man project of former Nagelfar drummer Alexander von Meilenwald, and he's back again with his latest release of black metal mayhem titled Foulest Semen Of A Sheltered Elite. Yeah, pretty sick title, and the music contained on this one is not something you'd want to crank up at a family picnic, but let's face it, this German musician knows a thing or two about putting together compelling, dramatic, and brutal music.
Chances are if you loved previous efforts Unlock The Shrine and Rain Upon The Impure, you'll totally dig what's on display here. One quick thing to point out though is the reliance on plenty of doomy, atmospheric passages on Foulest Semen Of A Sheltered Elite. This is not all 'full speed ahead' black metal blitzkriegs by any means. Epic tracks like "Mount Sinai Moloch" and "I Raised This Stone As A Ghastly Memorial" owe as much to the doom genre as they do to atmospheric & chilling black metal ala current US darlings Wolves in the Throne Room. von Meilenwald's vocals are truly haunting and evil, and the layers of effects, rampaging riffs, and pounding drum blasts are mighty effective during the more aggressive passages. "Kain's Countenance Fell" has some downright early Black Sabbath styled riffage in spots, mixed in with some tremelo picked 'mayhem' that would make the classic Norwegian acts proud, and the 12-minute "The Restless Mills" is a non-stop assault of crushing riffs, bulbuous bass, pummeling drums, and otherworldly vocal effects. Things don't get more epic and progressive sounding than on the 15-minute closer "Arcane Pharmakon Messiah", a real adventurous number with plenty of spooky effects and layers of instrumentation.
If I have one gripe here, it's that the album in general is a tad too long at just about 80 minutes. There's brief little interludes between a few of the epic tracks, which don't really matter much in the overall scheme of things, and 7 of the tracks clock in at over 8 minutes in length, so be prepared to spend some time with this one.
Overall, despite the putrid album title, Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite is quite a remarkable release of tortured, doomy black metal that's got way more going for it than plenty of other genre releases you'll hear these days. Alexander von Meilenwald, otherwise known as The Ruins of Beverast, is showing that these so called 'one man acts' can really come up with something fresh and unique. Well done.
01. I Raised This Stone As A Ghastly Memorial
03. God's Ensanguined Bestiaries
04. Mount Sinai Moloch
05. Transcending Saturnine Iericho Skies
06. Kain's Countenance Fell
07. The Restless Mills
08. Theriak - Baal - Theriak
09. Blood Vaults (II - Our Despots Cleanse The Levant)
10. Arcane Pharmakon Messiah