Sometimes while listening to music I am wondering how it is possible that certain groups become extremely popular while others, not lacking in musical workshop nor interesting ideas, remain in the shadow creating their stuff for a relatively small circle of recipients. The Ukrainian one-man band RAVENTALE seems to be a good illustration for these words. Two years would pass before the second work from this talented ensemble called “Davno Ushedshikh Dney” could be published and perhaps this time their music will reach a wider audience.
In comparison to RAVENTALE’s debut only certain slight changes have been introduced. The majority of this material is recorded still in the vein of “Na Chrustalnych Kaczeniach” including sounds of nature, dirty and at the same time massive guitar riffs, sluggish pace and the keyboards, which superbly accentuate the longing and sorrowful soul of Astaroth’s music. On the other hand it feels as if his vocals were somewhat altered, being now more strident and venomous. Another change is to be noticed as the second track kicks off. Its clearly rapider tempo has some associations with Black Metal bands incorporating Goth aesthetics like CRADLE OF FILTH for instance. After a few whiles, though, the things are back on the “usual” RAVENTALE course, which takes us on a down-tempo journey through the never-ending landscapes of nature and human loneliness.
The Ukrainian’s music has already before been compared to what KATATONIA have achieved within melodic Doom Metal, but only the second to last song really gives grounds to such judgments. In fact the initial melodies of this track are as if fashioned directly by the Swedish band (perhaps excluding the hoarse singing). Another famous band that in a way is involved in “Davno Ushedshikh Dney” is the English ANATHEMA, though, in this case it is only for the reason of Astaroth placing their cover on the track-list. A fan of this group would surely notice it but otherwise “Sunset Of The Age” seems to be just another good RAVENTALE effort.
The result of the production process is definitely satisfying as the one in charge of it managed to balance most properly the heavily distorted guitars and the keyboard section. The latter are nearly omnipresent, yet never tend to be too insistent making the music tacky. Another interesting thing is that while RAVENTALE play Doom you will probably almost never pay attention to the drum department as the great cooperation of the filthy six-stringers with the spatial synths simply put it in the shade. At the same time it is worth noticing that none of the instruments is inaudible, though obviously this is not what a maniac of sound selectiveness would expect.
The Ukrainian group have released another solid CD and proved that their music is worth attention not only from devoted fans of Doom Metal but generally from listeners who appreciate melancholic sound and mood of highest quality.
(Online March 27, 2009)