Raven Throne - Eternal, Dark

Raven Throne hail from icy realm of Belarus, which is about as cold as the music they create. Combining the crawling anthems of pagan black metal with the dark, obscured vocals of depressive black metal, one can't help but feel like they are braving a snowstorm when trying to get through the latest release of 'Eternal, Dark.' Oddly enough, it feels like the listener is hearing two fronts throughout this twelve track onslaught. Right from the start, "In The Grip Of Winter," the music is almost dragging, catchy, and anthem like, touching almost on the black metal viking days of early Satyricon (without the keyboards and flutes of course). It is somewhat repetitive, but enjoyable at the same time. The vocals on the the hand can be hard to digest, as Raven Throne tried to make them as faded and rough as possible, like someone was actually snarling into a microphone without any help from production at the studio. The result is a very gritty, humanistic old school wave of sound that sounds perfect when it comes to a track like "Foredeath, Foregod," but on the heavier tracks where there is more distortion, it becomes almost impossible to really get into, or it seems like the vocals blot out the music so there is no balance.

"The Winter Is My Rest" is about the only track where suddenly one seems to hear a balance of sound, and the most catchy of all the rhythms. Sounding a bit like Paradise Lost or Katatonia with black metal vocals, the music here is sorrowful, rock oriented, and a lot more digestible since it seems a bit cleaner. Even though the band repeats itself about ten times with the same riffs over and over before moving into the vocals, the riffs were a good choice to get hooked on to. "Let The Flame Take You" has a similar approach, this time including no vocals but maintaining that hypnotic tone as the music drones on, with no distortion to hinder it. While some might prefer the music likes this (as much of Raven Throne's lyrics are performed in Russian, they are half the atmospheric storm that the album turns out to be. While the idea of a 'storm' might be too evident on 'Eternal, Dark' as four of the songs are titled to do something with winter or snow- a very 'pagan' theme apparently in black metal- thankfully the music altogether hits at a slow to medium pace rather than a slaughter of bricks in the way Dark Funeral would just hurl everything at their listeners. Despite the somewhat repetitive nature, 'Eternal, Dark' is mystical, cold, and a eerily good time.

  1. In The Grip Of Winter
  2. Poisoning The Light
  3. Grief Of A Thousand Year Old Winter
  4. Call It Snowstorm...
  5. Foredeath, Foregod
  6. When The Shadows Come
  7. From Eternity To Eternity
  8. By Force, By Hatred
  9. No Life Inside
  10. In Captivity Of Thiny Veins
  11. The Winter Is My Rest
  12. Let The Flame Take You

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Oct 3, 2011

Share this: