The Ruins Of Beverast - Blood Vaults... | Review

With a gurgling introduction that opens the album, Meilenwald throws the listener into the darkest depths with a nine minute epic, “Daemon”. Slow, dooming riffs chug along as a neatly tucked organ bellows in the background. Meilenwald’s vocals are grotesque and raw, spewing such blackness and filth. The vocals rapidly change from dark, black bile to throat ripping registers, blast beats fire off in rapid succession, culminating in a slow moving crawl towards the end; what was once a light at the end of the tunnel, Meilenwald throws the listener back down into the gurgling pool of wretchedness.

“Malefica”’s middle portion contains another organ piece, and before long the listener is thrust into the bleakness once again. The vocals, steeped in venom, juxtapose nicely against the airy atmosphere the music has created. Layered instruments wash over the track; guitar leads flow beautifully against the harshness of the vocal tracks. “Spires, The Wailing City” is full of texture and clarity; blending elements of noise with the ever dooming riffs, Meilenwald crafts such a dark, ominous landscape. The drums of war pound away, coupled with what feels like the conjuring of the Devil. It’s a massive buildup in the middle of “Spires” that breaks itself down once again, opting for something slow and fearsome. Although this is the M.O. of Meilenwald; the dreary, suffocating atmosphere made by intensely sludgy riffs, the miniature build up is a let down. There’s no rapture here, only the continuous push down further into the dark.

“Trial” and “Ordeal” are the shortest tracks on the album, each spanning about four minutes in length. The former is used to create atmosphere, which Meilenwald does with great success. “Ordeal” is a traditional black metal piece, filled with blast beats upon blast beats; a nice break from the same chokehold that is the thick, mire-ridden riffs. The opus closes with “Monument”, another stick-in-the-mud slow dirge that ends with some post-rock flavor.

Meilenwald and his vision for Ruins of Beverast seems to favor the ruthlessly heavy, mind-bendingly slow riffs. On 'Blood Vaults...', this idea comes in spades. There are more interesting acts in black metal these days, creating wondrous atmosphere through scope and texture. While 'Blood Vaults...' contains moments of such texture and the overall feel of the album centers around riffs full of actual dread, Ruins of Beverast favors these doom oriented riffs. It’s passable at best, but for fans of this kind of black metal it is sure to be a pleasure to sit through.

Bill Haff 

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Bill Haff is a Philadelphia-based music critic who also contributes for Cvlt Nation, Metal Injection and Ghost Cult. You can follow him on Twitter at @bill_haff