RAVEN BLACK NIGHT - BARBARIAN WINTER (Metal Blade Records)
(Review by Officer Nice)
A country that always speaks to my imagination is Australia, ‘Down Under’. I didn’t had the luck yet to travel so far and I doubt if I will ever get there. It seems so far, so bizarre yet so beautiful. The Metal over there also seems to suffer the distance between this land and the rest of the world. Okay, AC/DC en Rose Tattoo often visits our neighbourhood but for other bands it’s almost a ‘mission impossible’ and I suppose the price of the plane tickets has lot to do with it. That’s a pity because Australia really contains very good bands and it’s up to me to represent you the newest one I’ve discovered.
Raven Black Night released their first demo in 2000 and four years after they came with their debut album “Choose The Dark”. Ever since it has been quiet until now, with a record under the name “Barbarian Winter”. A nice front cover makes me understand that Raven Black Night is probably an Epic Metal band and some advertisement about these lads makes clear they might be influenced by Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road and Candlemass. The ideal band for a fan of traditional Heavy Metal with that typical kind of obscure charisma.
Listening to this album this description fits perfectly although I’m more impressed than when I listen to for example Cirith Ungol or Manilla Road. I know there are lots of die-hard fans but for some reason these band can’t really touch my soul. Raven Black Night on the other hand seduces me for multiple reasons.
First of all the music. This is hard hitting, indeed some kind of Epic Metal, but it’s more varied and less boring than their examples. The riffs are good and the leads contain some mysterious sound, making this band something special to listen to. I don’t know if you have ever heard a band called K-Octave? Well, the solos on their album ‘Outer Limits’ weren’t at all good produced but they gave me a kick anyway, just because of that special sound. I can hear that particular sound back on this release, awesome! They are ultra-emotional played and it gives me a pleasant kind of feeling, fantastic guitars!
I hear good compositions and Jim Petkof has a very special voice. His vocal lines are pretty unique, often reminds me of Michael Degrena (Order Of Nine/Templar). I adore the screams he uses and the fact his vocal sound makes this band even more special, although they’re traditional for one hundred percents. Also the link with Candlemass is clear, fans of these Doom metal gods should really try this one out. I adore those vocal lines while some leads are playing in the back, it always gives something special to Metal. On the almost ten minutes during title track even some 'Death Metal' vocals are foreseen by a guest singer, makes the album even more varied! That Jim Petkof really contains a good voice he proves easily on "Changes" (that strange atmosphere in it is just amazing), another strong track on an album that is full of it! "Nocturnal Birth" easily shows how qualitative this band really is, again a proof of excellent song writing!
I’m addicted to this release! I know this ain’t the best album ever nor does it contain a strong modern production but it has something I keep on listening to. The beginning of “If You Choose The Dark” should explain everything I am trying to say! This record will stay for a long time in my record player, despite the fact that I have so much more to listen to. I really hope the band will send their debut as well, it's at least something I want to lay my hands on! A 'must have' album for fans of Epic Doom/Heavy Metal and a band that will stay forever on my radar. https://www.facebook.com/ravenblacknightofficial
My Points: 92 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & classic ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 89: Decent but better to take a preview first
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard