Album Review: Kult of the Raven – Nattravnen

 

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Conjure up an image of bellowing thunder in the twilight sky, fill it with ravens prophesying deathly doom then transform it into Death Metal and you get this album. Monstrous vocals over never-ending tremendous riffs laid in a gloomy dark atmosphere. You will not believe how long I have yearned for an album exactly like this, focusing on dark atmospheric Death Metal, so imagine my reaction when I came across it. Their style reminds me a bit of the band Sulphur Aeon.

The chosen themes go perfectly well with Death Metal and are well-executed in the music by the duo, Jonny Petterson and Kam Lee, both famed musicians in the Death Metal underground as they come together to produce this masterpiece. I find it hard to believe how Jonny manages to do all the instruments so well alone, and how Kam manages to produce such awesome fitting vocals. The guitars are the key highlight of this album, keeping the listener engaged throughout the album aside for a few atmospheric pauses. They switch from a raging storm to a cool relaxing wind, proving to be a well-balanced spectrum. The drums and bass complement the guitars perfectly. The vocals are exactly spot-on and done with absolute perfection. The background keyboards provide a great dark touch to all the songs. On par with the other elements, the lyrics weave a great story about the Night Raven, of which you will have to find out by listening as it has been provided to us by the mighty pen of Kam himself.

The first released single ‘Suicidium’, of course is one of the best songs with endless catchy riffs one after the other. Track ‘Return to Nevermore’ set in the middle of the album is probably the best one and, in my opinion, goes down as one of greatest Death Metal tracks in history. However, I also feel all the tracks are extremely good, a trait uncommon among Death Metal albums.

If I chose to be picky, although it is done quite well, the album lacks slightly in the production department. For some, it might even fit with the album style, but perhaps could have been a bit better.

The label on which it is released, Transcending Obscurity Records has impressed me yet again with deciding to include this on their never-ending good releases. Definitely one of my favourite albums of this year, and all time, and one that I just cannot stop playing. I have nothing but thanks for this duo for deciding to do this. One of the albums I would recommend every Death Metal listener to try out.

Grab the album and merch here:

https://nattravnen.bandcamp.com/album/kult-of-the-raven-death-metal

Rating – 4.5/5

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