Band: Ravens Creed
Album: Ravens Krieg
Label: Xtreem Music
War is hell, as well all know, which makes it a ripe topic for quality death metal. While many bands aim for the Satanic or evil vibe, many bands also try to go for the grim realism of a world torn apart by combat. On their third release Ravens Krieg, Ravens Creed are clearly going for something akin to this. Released by Xtreem Music, it consists mostly of songs less than three minutes long that are filled to the brim with percussive, powerful death metal.
The best way to describe the atmosphere of Ravens Krieg would be that of artillery fire. The combination of the guitar tone and the barked vocals give the feeling of military rigor, adding to rigidity and crushing nature of this music. Many songs invoke a feeling of marching, whether to victory or death. This is particularly invoked by the track “Victory in Defeat” which acts as a break after five high tempo tracks. The slow moving, crushing riffs ring true of Asphyx, acting as a swirling mixture of looming attack and post-battle fatigue.
It should be noted that “Victory in Defeat” and the final track “Carrion Screaming” are the only songs greater than three minutes long. This gives the whole album a very hard and fast feel—tracks are over quickly, as in a punk album. However, I would not describe Ravens Krieg as a punk album in the slightest—it is pure metal, and this works to its advantage. While the songs are short, the vast majority of them feel “complete.” Never did I feel as if a song had wasted potential, or that I wished to hear more. This is a testament to Ravens Creed’s writing abilities—they clearly have a vision and they are willing to promote it, and they know how long and hard to go.
I do feel the need to comment on “Carrion Screaming” as a final track, as it breaks the thirteen-minute threshold. This is in sharp contrast to the rest of the album which is punctuated by short pieces that ring true of short ideas that are meant to be communicated quickly. “Carrion Screaming” ends the album and instead seems like a lengthy outro. It’s not even a bad song—very listenable and hardly any filler—but it makes for a full listen of the album very odd. It’s hard to make this out to be some sort of shortcoming, but it did seem like something that prevents the album from being a back-to-back listen like the best albums are.
In that, the trudging sound of pounding riffs can often risk sounding repetitive. Ravens Krieg certainly can fall into this trap, but the cure for that is solid, memorable riffs that bury their way into the listener’s temple. “Rock Cemetery,” “Jungle Justice,” “Go Home,” and “Dirty Diary” all come out strong and make worthwhile single listens. Repetition is easily mitigated due to the structure of the album and of course the songwriting potential Ravens Creed clearly has.
Ravens Creed makes for an incredible listen and is extremely powerful in both its songwriting and its atmosphere. If I ever find myself on the right side of a Howitzer, Ravens Krieg would likely be a part of my playlist.
Check ’em out here: https://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/track/go-home