Hailing from the Belarusian city Polotsk, atmospheric black metal band Raven Throne releases its sixth album I Miortvym Snicca Zolak on 2 May via the Dutch imprint Non Serviam Records. Drawing upon the same moody terrain as Agalloch, Khors, Drudkh and others, the group dug deep into Slavic culture and history for this new effort, drawing on a number of poems written near the dawn of the last century, adding a haunting and disquieting element to the already dark and primitive metal sounds.
The LP‘s final track, “Living Blood of Living Bodies” (“Žyvoj kryvi žyvyja cielcy”), exemplifies the stark, startling turns the music takes throughout the rest of the album. With ferocious lead guitar lines and bare, stone age rhythms, the track builds in un-quiet intensity before giving way (albeit briefly) to a haunting, simple guitar figure. From there, the tune turns on full blast, laying waste to our speakers and our very beings with annihilating black metal ferocity.
Speaking about the track, the group offered this: “The track turned out to be quite uncharacteristic for us. It contains progressive elements in combination with more traditional metal forms. The mood of music and full of tragic images from Uladzimir Dudzitski’s poetry create a complete and harmonious union.”
If it seemed for a moment that all that could be done in black metal had already been accomplished in the early hours of the 1990s, it’s time to rethink that and embrace the cold, hard truth that Raven Throne is one a handful of bands capable of leading the music forward to new heights of sonic supremacy.