Blackened thrash metal is nothing new. Often the combination of the two styles leads to some of the most aggressive and intense bands in extreme music. Greece’s RAVENCULT have been honing their craft for 15 years now and after a five year wait since Morbid Blood, album number three, Force of Profanation is here. Does this new offering present another healthy dosage of sheer intense mayhem or does it fall at the first hurdle?
One thing is clear about Force of Profanation; this is a record of sheer intense heavy metal. The record roars into life in an instant as Tormentor of Flesh unleashes a classic 80s inspired thrashing riff. From there the momentum is kept at all time high as riffs pummel the ears, JV‘s drumming is ferocious and Alex‘s vocals roar above. From there, the record barely loses momentum. In Macabre Triumph has a surprising amount of groove in its approach to the riffs. Black metal inspired playing from guitarist Stef is on show here and to great effect, containing enough hooks to keep your attention whilst the subtleties of Kostas‘ bass tones are discreetly heard in the mix.
What is most satisfying with Force of Profanation is the organic approach RAVENCULT have taken for this record. Varying degrees of pace are on show here, from the whirlwind journey of Beneath The Relics Of Old interchanging between intense moments of thrashing riffing to consistent rhythm of Merciless Reprisal. The effect of this is extremely positive as it allows the record to breathe; flowing organically from track to track but still maintaining its intensity.
The approach of RAVENCULT‘s sound on offer here is nothing groundbreaking. Throughout the record the rhythm of JV‘s drumming and Kostas‘ work on the bass keep the pace frantic and engaging, the guitar play from Stef, whilst not the most technical performance you’ve ever heard, does the job that is required; keeping the pace at full-throttle. The shining quality on offer here is the vocal performance from Alex; whose deliveries of snarls and growls pack razor-sharp aggression. From the rapid delivery on Into Depths to the exchange of vocal growls to dis-jointed riffing on Doom Oracle; the formula RAVENCULT have here is fantastic for their respective style.
Force of Profanation does exactly what you would expect it to. There is no high-end production here or no technical flurry of lead solo play. This is a record that offers an intense, raw and utterly monstrous listening experience. The riffs are basic in their nature but compliment the approach RAVENCULT have taken, the drumming is absolutely intense and with that combined with a monstrous vocal performance, Force of Profanation is a record that will batter you into submission. Whilst it is nothing new or original, this is a record that represents a band honing their craft, creating an end product that will appeal to anyone with an ear for the extreme.
Force of Profanation is set for release on November 11th via Metal Blade Records.
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