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A new voice within their particular subgenre - 82%

erebuszine, May 1st, 2013

Ravager is an interesting band to me because they are involved in a lengthy process of change right now. Antimo, also of Disgorge and a few other bands, is at the center of this group and it is his excellent vocals (improving all the time) that drive forcefully their sound to the forefront of my consciousness. For the most part, and starting where the last album left off, this is hyper-aggressive Krisiun or Angelcorpse-style blackened death metal (this is just a classifying convention, they don't really sound like either band although the influences are of course there), although all kinds of other inspirations bleed through as one gets deeper into the record (there is a section that reminds me of the last Mortuary Drape opus, for example, and others that immediately call The Chasm and Incantation to mind). The last Ravager album "Storm of Sin" disappointed me because I thought it failed to adequately capitalize on the energy and melodic originality of the Domain (this band's former name) material on the split album they released with Demonized on American Line Productions. This album, however, does so - it is, in my mind, a worthy successor to the split album and makes me forget the existence of the debut. Maybe I should go back and listen to the debut again now? I don't know. This is much darker, more openly melodic, and more original than it (going by what I learned from their debut, again) should have been, or what I expected. The riffing is savage, expert, adroit, capable, and the tracks show (in their execution and performance) a lengthy time of composition, patient deletion, editing and reworking. Ravager have improved as songsmiths. Several sections in the various songs surprised me with their writing: the way they were linked to their surrounding transitions or bridges, the ways in which they reflected on other parts of the individual compositions, etc. Also worth mentioning is the rough production, especially the ghostly or "spectral" sound of some of the soloing, which I thought fit this style of music perfectly. While most other bands on Osmose are content to rest on their laurels and rework the elements of their style that got them signed in the first place, Ravager are trying to evolve. At this point in the metal scene, I can only admire them for that. They have created a new voice within their particular genre, even if it is at a level of particulars and subtleties that may escape casual fans of this kind of music. I look forward to their next release, of course, but in the meantime I will be playing this album a lot, as I have been for the past week. This is excellent material, and I hope they continue on this new path of progression.

UA

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