Ragnell – Rebirth in Darkness

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Satanath Records
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://satanath.bandcamp.com/album/sat256-ragnell-rebirth-in-darkness-2019
Band Website: Ragnell (Bandcamp)

Band line-up:

Eduardo de La Peña – Bass, Vocals
Mauricio – Guitars, Vocals
Dave Apocalipzyz – Drums

Tracklisting:

1. Ablaze in the Altar (of Sacrifice)
2. Bath in the Blood of the Priest
3. Broken to Faith
4. Dethrone
5. Divine Eradication
6. Infernal Torment
7. Aeterna Victoria
Bonus tracks:
8. Path of Darkness
9. Holy Center of Worship, to Burn

 

 

Ragnell are a blackened death metal band from Toluca, Mexico. Their second full-length, Rebirth In Darkness, leans slightly more towards black metal than death (the influence from the nineties-era of bands such as Darkthrone and Deicide can be heard throughout). The lyrics explore themes such as anti-religion, evil, and violence.

Some clean, slow guitar notes can be heard in the beginning of ‘Ablaze in the Altar (of Sacrifice)’, later exploding into a thunderous track, swapping between low death metal growls and black metal screams. ‘Ablaze…’ ends much like it started: with a clean guitar outro. The melody echoes the one played in the beginning, which is a nice touch.

‘Bath In The Blood Of The Priest’ wastes no time luring us in, getting straight to the blast beats followed by shrieked vocals. There are some instances, where lines such as “the smell of victory” are delivered in both the black and death vocal style simultaneously. This really emphasises the presence of both subgenres in this album and displays how well they can work together. Later on in the song, what sounds like Gregorian chants are used while the track title is screamed and growled, ironically highlighting further its anti-religious theme. The lyrics “devoured by hate… devoured by fear…” are whispered, their soft, hissed delivery making the words all the more sinister. Of all nine parts of Rebirth In Darkness, ‘Bath In The Blood Of The Priest’ showcases Eduardo and Mauricio’s vocal versatility best.

‘Dethrone’ is one of the most successful tracks on this album, with a few characteristics of ‘Bath In The Blood…’. Dave’s drumming ability on this particular track is demonstrated well, as there are some truly blistering moments. It also marks the resurgence of Gregorian-esque chants on the album in its chorus, but in this instance they can be heard independently, as well as over death growls. Some spoken word wraps the lyrics up, which is unexpected, but effective.

The lo-fi production on this album appears to be intentional, emulating the rawness of early black metal bands. There is a certain catchy vibe to their songs, such as ‘Broken To Faith,’ which is not common in blackened metal. It would seem that the trio’s Latin background, combined with the inspiration that black/death metal artists provided them with, have made Ragnell quite original for a blackened death outfit.

Review by Kira Levine
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