Nattravnen – Kult Of The Raven

Band: Nattravnen
Title: Kult Of The Raven
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Release Date: 7 December 2018
Country: International
Format Reviewed: High quality digital promo

2018 seemed to be very hectic for Jonny Pettersson. He has been part of the latest fantastic releases of WOMBBATH and HEADS FOR THE DEAD – both bands leaving huge trace into the death metal world with their albums in 2018. Furthermore URSINNE also released an EP in 2018. And in very end of the year we got NATTRAVNEN! Oh, wow!

In NATTRAVNEN Jonny plays again on all the instruments, and his partner for the vocals and writing the lyrics is the mighty Kam Lee. From his side, Kam released an album with GROTESQUERY in 2018, so both men had their powerful death metal say in the last year.

The name NATTRAVNEN comes from the legend of the dark raven. In German mythology Nachtkrapp is described as a giant, nocturnal raven-like bird. In Norse mythology and in most legends (Swedish “Nattramnen”, Norwegian “Nattravnen”) “is depicted with no eyes which if looked into cause death. It is also depicted with holes in its wings which cause illness and disease if looked at.” [Wikipedia]

“Kult Of The Raven” was really released in the very last moment of the year – 7 December, which definitely means that a big of the audience overlooked it when being busy to prepare the famous AOTY lists, including myself. We had other very strong examples in this field last year, and I still don’t quite get the labels’ strategy to push the albums on Christmas time.

“Kult Of The Raven” is actually another gem in Jonny and Kam’s heavy music journey. It is a 39 minutes of pure heavy blasting blackened death metal. The (wall of) sound and the production of the album is making the music even more heavier, the riffs more appealing and creating a very intense feeling. I will pin it as a devastating record. We experienced similar approach with HFTD for example. “Kult Of The Raven” is a very dark album. It is a gothic night Darkness, strengthened by the additional atmospheric keys’ layers, and even the dark blue colours of the artworks. The vocal growls and screams are additional instruments in the mix – low, torturous, or painful screams – they are always hitting the listener into the right spots, as they are coming from the pits of hell, worshipping the dark messenger of the underworld.

I must admit that “Kult Of The Raven” easily goes among the finest death/blackened death metal albums of 2018.  Yes, it easily be among the benchmarks in the genre for 2018. Diverse, heavily crushing and… inclusive. It is strangely attractive as forbidden fruit, as a sin to be committed. It is so enjoyable! The album grabs the attention with its intensiveness and atmosphere, and the listener just drowns in a darker night spiral of nightmares and visions of black. It is the HELL as we can imagine it. 9/10 Count Vlad

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9/10 Epic Storm
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