THE RUINS OF BEVERAST – The Thule Grimoires

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label URL: https://www.van-records.com
Released: 2021
Buy Album: https://theruinsofbeverast.bandcamp.com
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/The-Ruins-Of-Beverast-116265971848680

Band line-up:

Alexander von Meilenwald

Tracklisting:

1. Ropes Into Eden
2. The Tundra Shines
3. Kromlec’h Knell
4. Mammothpolis
5. Anchoress In Furs
6. Polar Hiss Hysteria
7. Deserts To Bind And Defeat

 

 

 

Review:

The Ruins of Beverast are a German black metal band on Van Records. They formed in 2003 and named themselves after the most horrifying event of the ancient Mid and Northeuropean eschatology – the collapse of the massive bridge ‘Bifrost’. As a live act, they have proven themselves to be a powerful force since Roadburn 2013. The have toured Europe and America and have played many festivals. They will be releasing their 6th full length effort ‘The Thule Grimoires’ on 5th February, 2021. Its seven tracks are based on discarnate, spiritful protagonists that join the inexorable forces of nature against their enemies. 

Opening track ‘Ropes into Eden’ begins with some cool tremolo effects on the guitars that have a spacey, experimental rock sound. It’s a very interesting vibe for a black metal release, but such ideas could have been expanded upon in the album. Phaser-like sounds also on the guitars turn basic ideas into strong ones, which is perfect for this kind of minimalist approach. Arguably more hectic and notey ideas would be overkill when combined with FX. When strange effects aren’t used however – which is often – more adventurous ostinatos would be appreciated. Similarly, the bass lines often don’t stand out. ‘Deserts To Blind And Defeat’ has a great low end part that brings to mind some ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ era Mayhem, but such highlights should have been more frequent. The drum fills and slower beats are pretty basic, but that’s not an issue as they are more about creating a sense of power and doom, that contrasts nicely with the blast beats. Such beats almost sound more like heavy rain than machine gun fire. That’s perhaps a good thing as the heavier blast style can get a bit much after a while. 

The occasional clean vocals are just as simple as the guitar parts, and again frequent effects (in this case reverb) do make them somewhat otherworldly. They don’t create a nice world obviously, picture a crappy world. Like the bleak, dull redness of Mars. But in a good way. I would have liked reverb to have been used all the time as the singer sounds a bit like an ordinary, untalented man (at times), and needs a bit of assistance, but naturally that will bother few fans of the genre. So yeah, the ideas on offer here are mostly simple from all instruments, but when they are all combined together with a rich and detailed production style full of unusual noises and eerie synth notes, the ultimate product is fairly decent. It is moody and most certainly epic. The shortest song is 6 minutes long and the most drawn out lasts 14 minutes, and despite the lack of true catchiness they never get boring. That’s a bit of a paradox, but those who are fans of minimalist BM will definitely know what I mean. 

In conclusion, there are clear strengths and weaknesses here. The various effects are great, but I for one wanted a lot more of them. The drums are often very chaotic, but they are relatively soft too and that alone is quite curious, (but certainly not unique). More creative guitar and bass riffs would be appreciated to add a sense of spice. They don’t need to go on and on, just the odd classy pattern here and there could have worked wonders. Again, the whole package is quite desirable and it should please those who are a little more patient and open-minded. It’s not just for black metal fans, those who enjoy doom and experimental music will get a lot out of it, too. Despite the length of the pieces, the music isn’t exactly proggy, so don’t be fooled. However, I’m not saying the group are a failed prog band. Far from it. Recommended!

Review by Simon Wiedemann

 

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