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RAVENWOODS: "Enfeebling the Throne" - 50%

skaven, March 17th, 2012

On their second full-length assault, Ravenwoods unleashes quite a mixed bag of influences from various genres - in good and bad. While the band seems to focus primarily on death metal - be it blackened death metal, technical and brutal death metal or even melodic death metal, yeah, all that is here - the band also incorporates calmful passages of traditional instruments into the mix that makes, all in all, a decent but the same time a tad incorehent 41 minutes.

Primarily, Enfeebling the Throne blasts not unlike Behemoth, including precise and monstrous drumming and very similar growls, and on these tracks I wish the band would have added something more original into the compositions - no matter how crushing these tracks nonetheless are, mostly thanks to the heavy and massive production. Yes, there’s a lot of Nile esque mysterious acoustic moments within songs (”Breathless Solace”, ”Torture Palace” and ”Upheaven-Subterranean” to name a few) but they sound a little apart from the metal, just suddenly appearing out of nowhere. The traditional elements are put to their best use at the outro ”Azab-I Mukaddes” which is entirely in that style, giving that side of the band more time so that it isn’t just a random one-minute interlude between all the chugging riffs and blast beats.

The latter part of the album starts to reveal the melodic death metal which, I surprisingly think, is the most interesting half of the record. The cleanly sung chorus of ”Stay” could appear on an MTV poprock song but I find it done tastefully, and then there’s ”The Fading Trace” that also flirts with that certain Gothenburg sound. All this makes, indeed, a bit random sounding whole of different ideas. With a little more coherency and better mixing of the styles together, Ravenwoods could have produced a fantastic record. What is left now is an album with various good ideas that just don’t all work together so well. Nonetheless, we are not dealing with a lackluster record here, so that those more into death metal than yours truly can appreciate Enfeebling the Throne a lot more.

2.5 / 5
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