The Ruins of Beverast – Exuvia (2017)

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The first time we came across The Ruins of Beverast was with their 2009 release “Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite”… and we totally hated that album. Fast-forward eight years and two releases, we have learned to appreciate the complexity and uniqueness of the band’s sound. On “Exuvia”, sole member Alexander von Meilenwald takes things to a completely new level in terms of gripping atmosphere and brilliant mixture of diverse elements.

Opening with the hypnotic title track, this song starts with some Native American leading to a few eerie guitar notes that open up the traditional wall of sound that the band delivers. Featuring bone chilling female vocals, this track perfectly blends the band’s dissonant aggression with more mysterious elements and it progresses into very dramatic passages led by majestic clean vocal arrangements.

As the release warms up, “Surtur Barbaar Maritime” fully envelops the listener in a mystical atmosphere led by ethereal clean vocals and punishingly heavy riffs. The dramatic tempo changes make this track highly unpredictable and extremely enjoyable for fans of uncertainty. With a certain old-school Doom vibe, “Maere” is a pummeling track that perfectly blends aggressive drumming, complex riffing with very eerie atmospheric elements. If you are not fully immersed in the band’s atmospheric brilliance by now, you are probably not paying attention.

Weaving back and forth between Doom and Black Metal elements, “The Pythia’s Pale Wolves” is definitely one of the most interesting tracks in this release. Delivering over 13 minutes of weirdness, this track combines a wide variety of vocal styles (and genders) while creating a ferocious otherworldly atmosphere.  The album’s underlying Native American elements are brought forward as the release progresses; we can see a great example of this with “Towards Malakia”. Featuring lively Doom riffs, this track suddenly transforms into mystical chants that will creep you out.

Closing the release with the ritualistic “Takitum Tootem!”, the band comes full circle delivering a punishing atmospheric experience filled with harsh vocals and a pace that will make you uneasy. Overall, “Exuvia” is one hell of a release filled with many layers that will take more than a couple of spins to fully digest. The Ruins of Beverast continues to deliver richly layered music that is both punishing and eerie, two features that makes them unlike any other band out there. If you like heavily atmospheric unconventional music, this is certainly the release for you.

Band: The Ruins of Beverast Album: Exuvia

Label: Ván Records

Release: May 5th, 2017

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Genre: Experimental/Avant-garde/Post Black Metal

Country: Germany

Rating: 94/100
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