I was going to wait a little while before listening to this album because there were others I wanted to get to first, but over the last couple days, I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about this one and a lot of praise for it. So I became intrigued and said fuck it and gave it a listen right away. I’m glad I did. This is the fifth full-length album by Germany’s one-man act The Ruins of Beverast, who is known for his very weird but gripping style of Atmospheric Blackened Doom Metal that has the ability to be both epic and terrifying all at once. The combination of crushing Doom and ominous Atmospheric Black Metal, filled with dark, chilling riffs, blastbeats, and relentless growls & shrieks with occasional clean vocals creates a dynamic that’s both weird and trance-inducing and very creepy and unsettling. It’s almost like a bad but good acid trip where you just lay down and enjoy the hellish hallucinations.
The album starts off with the title track, Exuvia, that opens with what appears to be a tribal ritual chant of some sort, obviously the theme of this album, as shown by the cover art, and is followed by a slow and simple but very chilling riff to wind things up, and then slowly builds into this whirlwind of mid-paced, doomy chaos that engulf the room until the last second. This pattern continues with tracks like Maere (on a Stillbirth’s Tomb). which again, has this very creepy and unsettling intro that slowly builds into a riff-driven, relentless assault. The ominous atmosphere combined with the slow, doomy, riffy dynamic of the core sound, like every good Atmospheric Black Metal album, makes for a very potent listening experience from start to finish. The best way to listen to this one is to just turn off the lights, sit back and enjoy.
Speaking of dynamic, another thing that makes this so interesting is the weird transitions each song goes through. The title track for example, at one point goes from the chaotic assault that I mentioned earlier to this weird, slow, ambient passage for a few minutes. Very interesting. The same happens in Maere and other points on the album too. Again, weird, but interesting. Reminds me a lot of the latest Ash Borer album, especially with the creepy, ominous riffs and overall weird vibe.
Overall, this is another ridiculously good offering by one of the most creative minds in the Black Metal genre today and another example of how being a one-person project can allow you to be at your most creative and out there. I get the praise, and so should you. If you’re into Blackened Doom or Atmospheric Black or any combination of the three, I definitely urge you to give this and all of this guy’s other releases a listen. Very top-notch stuff that will have you both blown away and terrified all at once.
Until next time.