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Flat Out Fantastic. - 90%

Perplexed_Sjel, December 6th, 2007

The Ruins Of Beverast, the one man creation of Alexander von Meilenwald, burst onto the black metal scene in 2003, but it wasn't until 2004 that the bands reputation really began to grow. Looking at the reputation of this band is like watching the evolution process in fast-forward. Since 'Unlock The Shrine', The Ruins Of Beverast have gone from strength to strength in a number of ways.

This is one band that are REALLY interesting. Although Alexander von Meilenwald's creation is primarily black metal, you cannot lump the debut full-length into the same group as most of black metal's record, even the best one's. 'Unlock The Shrine' is a look into the future, if you will, at what black metal has the potential to be and could be now if artists put a bit more effort into their works. This man, Alexander von Meilenwald, has single handily proven what can be done. What makes this band even more astonishing is that glaringly obvious fact, it's a one man band. Such a fact leaves no room for excuses when it comes to bands talking about how they'd be stronger if they had an extra guitarist, or another vocalist because this man has done it all himself and what a start to life in the big time.

Obviously, black metal will never have the appeal of most modern day music, but this is one band that could break away from the majority and form some sort of 'super league', which would involve the very best acts in the genre from all over the globe. If black metal were a competition and we needed a European representative, look no further. Germany, over recent years anyway, has begun to provide the adoring public with more and more acts to be blessed with in the most unholy ways. The Ruins Of Beverast are just the next act, in a long line, of German acts who have broken through the surface to reveal a core, hidden at the very depth of the genre. Bands like these make black metal what it is, supreme.

'Unlock The Shrine' could be seen as a metaphor. Well, it certainly is seen that way by me. If we look closely, we may find several acts, creeping around the darkness that is the black metal realm, that are just as good, if not better than this band, but for now, i'll be quite happy to stay put and adore The Ruins Of Beverast. How does Alexander von Meilenwald make his music so special? Well, there are a number of ways in which he goes about achieving something quite spectacular. First, the innovative guitar work. Although this German act does use standard black metal formulas like repetition, The Ruins Of Beverast do it in a way that makes you feel as if you're hearing every chord as if it's new to you. It's fresh and exciting.

'Unlock The Shrine' is a masterpiece for other reasons too. The way in which it can mould several different soundscapes throughout one song and thus, a vast selection of atmospheric gems on the whole, is simply remarkable. From the epic 'Between Bronze Walls', with it's dark atmosphere hidden under lays of astonishing musicianship to the free flowing sounds of 'The Mine'. No matter what it is you like about black metal, you'll probably find it here. Dark, depressive and raw. Seemingly able to control the genre and mix it with others is another strength to this masterful debut. Doom, funeral doom and sometimes drone with those low droning riffs, The Ruins Of Beverast cannot be compared to any other act out there. Try as you might, you won't succeed in finding another band like this. The different variations of vocals. Dark growls, whispered voices and tormented screams, it's all in there and do you know what? It doesn't sound at all out of place.

A different side to the band is the each emotion portrayed. The horrors of life come alive as The Ruins Of Beverast put you through your paces with this daring assault.