Valravn - Prey (2020)


As the weather turns cold and frosty in some places, it is the perfect time for blistering Black Metal releases that deliver sheer rawness, brutality, and a mix of melody thrown in for good form. Today we have Finnish outfit Valravn and their crushing release “Prey”, which delivers over 40 minutes of in-your-face raw BM. Focusing on craftsmanship alongside relentless brutality, this band unleashes one of the most intense aural onslaughts of 2020.

After a folky opener with “Awaken”, the band launches a full-on attack with the pummeling rawness of “Thrones of Blood”. Alongside furious riffs and intense drumming, the band nicely changes gears at times to deliver crafty oppressive atmospheric/melodic passages. With tracks like “Void” and “Conjuration” nicely blending styles and still being quite ravaging, it brings us back memories of old-school Norwegian BM at times.

Having something for everybody, this release also features more traditional songs like the punishing “Evoke the Fire” and “Treachery” with its typical BM drumming and intense riffing. With a certain October Falls edge, the acoustic intro to “Illustratum” changes the pace of the release, and nicely provides a contrast to more furious onslaughts. Both “Enchained” and our favorite, “The Raven”, further showcase the band’s knack for melody alongside a healthy serving of headbanging sections.

As a whole, “Prey” is one of those very versatile releases that is both crushing and yet delivers enough finesse to stand out from the rest. Filled with incisive guitarwork, crafty drumming, and hellish vocals, Valravn has managed to unleash one hell of a beast with this release. If you like your Black Metal to be frosty, melodic, and yet pummeling and in-your-face, this is the album for you.

Band: Valravn Album: Prey

Label: Primitive Reaction

Release: December 4th, 2020

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Genre: Black Metal

Country: Finland

Rating: 95/100

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