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Struggling to preserve the misery - 50%

UCTYKAH, December 28th, 2008

Yet another black metal musician going ambient. Good. You have to diversify your portfolio. It's DEMONCY's Ixithra this time using his infinitely more evil moniker Robert Cruzan. The good news is that no one is playing folk-ambient on their Casio with two fingers here. We get enough of that stuff from Poland with WOJNAR, PIORUN, KRAINA BEZ WIATRU and the rest of the forest brothers. Trying to preserve misery that way is a futile exercise for sure. So Mr. Cruzan is going for something a bit grimmer via minimalist dark ambient.

To give you a reference point, this recording falls somewhere between LUSTMORD on the one hand and LLN's less noisy and more drone-drenched black ambient projects on the other. Of course RAVEN'S BANE is not nearly as monumental in scope as the former. I also doubt that any bona fide field recordings were used for this work. But I'll bet that this album could easily be confused for some lost French demo tape, even though I suspect that the author would not be necessarily pleased with such comparisons. Whatever the case may be, "Misery Preserved" puts forth some deeply cavernous rumbles and hums which attempt to lock a listener's mind in a claustrophobic haze of being lost within a labyrinth of dungeons and catacombs.

It's difficult to objectively analyze stuff like that, especially given the extremely monotonous nature of this recording, so whether or not it succeeds is, again, up to each man to discover on his own. Factor in the use of alcohol, controlled substances, your own morbid imagination or none of the above and see what's what. As for me, I'll give this one a symbolic 50% only because I want to place a stick squarely in the middle.