Imagine a musical cocktail with BLACK SABBATH, CANDLEMASS and MERCYFUL FATE as ingredients. And that’s exactly what comes to my mind when I listen to this album from down under. RAVEN BLACK NIGHT combine these three bands and are not afraid to spice it up with some death grunts! What’s most striking in this mixture is the catchy and emotional guitar work.
The Band’s roots are definitely set in the seventies, their adoration for Jimmy Page and Richie Blackmore clearly shines through. Enshrouding it all, however, is an atmosphere of doom. This culminates in amazing songs like the odd opener “Morbid Gladiator”, which will have any MERCYFUL FATE fan go raving before it moves on easily into the death metallic “My Love Is Holy”. The title track sounds rather light and carefree, but not at all banal – it’s just not quite as dark as the rest. The chorus is very catchy and should run as smoothly into any obscure-metal-head’s ear as a cool beer would run down his throat.
Another highlight is the incredible “Nocturnal Birth”, which reminds me a lot of BLACK SABBATH’s “Planet Caravan“. “Blood On My Wings“ is a doomy, epic beast which is sure to keep you mesmerized for its full 11 minutes. This Übersong is not from this world, a sheer kaleidoscope of different moods! Especially towards its end, when the grunts set in, I get goosebumps every time. This track leaves me speechless, and I don’t know what else I could add… except that there are a few more excellent songs like “Morbid Soul” or “Ancient Mist” following.
This is definitely one of those albums which get a special place on my shelf - as a future classic. A masterpiece for all fans of, let’s say, “occult” Old School Metal. (Online September 19, 2005)