The Ruins Of Beverast - Exuvia review




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Reviewer:
8.2

105 users:
8.15
Band: The Ruins Of Beverast
Album: Exuvia
Release date: May 2017


01. Exuvia
02. Surtur Barbaar Maritime
03. Maere (On A Stillbirth's Tomb)
04. The Pythia's Pale Wolves
05. Towards Malakia
06. Takitum Tootem! (Trance)


I am not going to hide my bias. Alexander Von Meilenwald is a crafter of some of the finest blackened doom metal on the planet, and I am most definitely a fanboy for The Ruins Of Beverast. Having been somewhat disappointed, however, with the project's previous Blood Vaults effort, I went into 2017's Exuvia with some pretty high hopes of the music redeeming itself. And by the grace of Nyarlathotep, those hopes have been met.

Stylistically speaking, Exuvia can be seen as being a lot closer to Foulest Semen Of A Sheltered Elite than to Blood Vaults. As with that album, the songwriting is a lot more doomy than it is black metal-ish, but the black metal is nonetheless still interwoven into the doom in a tight, intricate fashion that feels both perfectly natural and highly impactful upon the listener, much more so than it was on Blood Vaults. You might, for example, have the music crawling along at a doomy pace, but with that razor sharp, black metal style riffing being employed. Or you might have a crushing, doomy passage that then explodes into frantic blasts and snarls from Von Meilenwald, only to slither back into the murky doom waters later. The line between the two is much less clearly defined, as it should be to get the best results out of this ingenious genre fusion. As with Blood Vaults, Exuvia also seems to get very repetitious at points, but somehow this time around this repetition has more of a meditative, trancelike effect upon the listener, no doubt owed to this tighter union with the black metal elements.

That said, Exuvia is far from being an exact replica of Foulest. What really sets this album apart from all previous ROB releases is the sense of atmosphere. This isn't quite "The Ruins Of Beverast on DMT" that we're dealing with, but Von Meilenwald is playing around with a very entrancing, dark, ethereal sense of melody here more than ever before, that could definitely be labeled as psychedelic at some points. Additionally, here the clean vocals really seem to have come into their full development. Previously with The Ruins Of Beverast, Von Meilenwald's clean vocals were used in a very chant-like delivery, more for atmospheric effect than anything else, but on Exuvia they approach more of an actual singing approach, and at times they even seem to overshadow his snarls. The opening title track seems to be the best sum of the new sound Von Meilenwald is going for here: repetitious, dreamlike, and epic, but nonetheless still heavy and thunderous.

Overall Exuvia is a major return to form for The Ruins Of Beverast, without question better than the slight "bump in the road" that was Blood Vaults. It is still not quite up to par with the first three albums, but, being realistic here folks, the first three ROB albums are pretty big landmarks within the realm of blackened doom. Expecting Von Meilenwald to create work at or above their level again is somewhat like expecting Deathspell Omega to do the same in regards to albums like Fas and Si Monumentum. So instead of attempting to top his masterworks, Von Meilenwald simply went for the best possible alternative with Exuvia: doing something different and reinventing his sound. And goddamn, did he hit that nail right on its head.

Cast off the outer skin. Reveal a new identity.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8


 



Written on 09.05.2017 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments

Comments: 16   Visited by: 296 users
09.05.2017 - 19:39
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Great review! Definitely agree that it's a return to form, although I did like Blood Vaults more than most of the people on here seem to have. I'm gonna keep disagreeing with you on the clean vocals though, think those are the weakest part of the album. Also; "The Ruins of Beverast on DMT"... I want that
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09.05.2017 - 19:47
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Alex F on 09.05.2017 at 19:39

Great review! Definitely agree that it's a return to form, although I did like Blood Vaults more than most of the people on here seem to have. I'm gonna keep disagreeing with you on the clean vocals though, think those are the weakest part of the album. Also; "The Ruins of Beverast on DMT"... I want that

As I said before, I definitely prefer the more "chanty" clean vocals from Rain Upon The Impure, and especially from Foulest (favorite album). But nonetheless, it's interesting to see how he changed the approach with them here. DMT Ruins Of Beverast lol... I can't really see the project ever getting more psychedelic than this, as a spacey ROB would be a little..... not bad, just very difficult to imagine. Then again, I didn't really imagine Von Meilenwald doing something like this album either, and he pulled it off, so..... time will tell.

One other thing I didn't mention here is this album has a really good sense of groove and rhythm at points as well, especially on the first couple minutes of Surtur Barbaar Maritime. Goddamn that's nasty
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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09.05.2017 - 19:53
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Written by Apothecary on 09.05.2017 at 19:47

One other thing I didn't mention here is this album has a really good sense of groove and rhythm at points as well, especially on the first couple minutes of Surtur Barbaar Maritime. Goddamn that's nasty

Honestly it seems the song structuring has become a bit more diverse and potentially even more mature on this release. Varying rhythmic patterns and even time signature changes are a bit more frequent throughout the album than previous ones (or so it seems) which definitely help it stay fresh from start to finish. Think that kind of plays in with the "groove and rhythm" you mention.
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09.05.2017 - 20:17
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Alex F on 09.05.2017 at 19:53

Honestly it seems the song structuring has become a bit more diverse and potentially even more mature on this release. Varying rhythmic patterns and even time signature changes are a bit more frequent throughout the album than previous ones (or so it seems) which definitely help it stay fresh from start to finish

Oh definitely, those first few minutes of the title track definitely gave me that impression. Many different rhythms and melodies going on there, it's very impressive. At first it felt kind of sloppy to me but the more you listen the more you see how tightly composed it actually is
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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09.05.2017 - 20:49
LuciferOfGayness
Account deleted
Thanks for the review. The last sentences is probably the most interesting parts with the album - casting off skin and trying for something new again. Would have been interesting if you went a bit deeper with that.

But I dont agree with your attempt to try to establish an era in the TRoB disc thats better than the rest. All are good for me and the most intresting thing with TRoB is the attempt to always do something different. My guess is that you have to rewrite this review in a couple of years and change the score a bit
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09.05.2017 - 21:26
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Guest on 09.05.2017 at 20:49

The last sentences is probably the most interesting parts with the album - casting off skin and trying for something new again. Would have been interesting if you went a bit deeper with that. But I dont agree with your attempt to try to establish an era in the TRoB disc thats better than the rest. All are good for me and the most intresting thing with TRoB is the attempt to always do something different. My guess is that you have to rewrite this review in a couple of years and change the score a bit

That last sentence was a reference to the album title, an exuvia is the cast off skin of an arthropod after it goes through a molt. An exoskeleton, essentially. "Good" is ultimately subjective, and I do consider the earlier ROB albums to be better and more emotionally powerful for me than this and Blood Vaults. Having said that, I just want you to know that that is not to say whatsoever that the post-Foulest ROB albums are bad. The difference in quality is very slight. Foulest remains my favorite, followed probably by Unlock The Shrine, Rain Upon The Impure, this, and then Blood Vaults last. But it's really just a difference of albums that are an 8 vs albums that are like a 9 or 10 for me. It's not too big a drop
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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09.05.2017 - 23:35
DeliciousDishes
I never really know if I adore this project or just kind of like it. Always hated his vocals, but he always gets me intrigued with his compositions. So far Exuvia sounds pretty good after a couple of listens. But seems I'll need a whole lot more spins to finally come to a good conclusion.
Also agree that the psychedelic approach is very slight but ultimately present here and there.
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10.05.2017 - 00:27
LuciferOfGayness
Account deleted
Written by DeliciousDishes on 09.05.2017 at 23:35

I never really know if I adore this project or just kind of like it. Always hated his vocals, but he always gets me intrigued with his compositions. So far Exuvia sounds pretty good after a couple of listens. But seems I'll need a whole lot more spins to finally come to a good conclusion.

I think the vocals are among the best in bm. And I read here http://www.bardomethodology.com/articles/2017/05/03/the-ruins-of-beverast-interview/ that he drinks alcohol in the studio to get them right. Seems to work
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10.05.2017 - 00:29
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by DeliciousDishes on 09.05.2017 at 23:35

The psychedelic approach is very slight but ultimately present here and there.

Indeed, at times I find myself wishing it had been a little more expanded upon, but then that might somewhat compromise the heaviness of the music if things go too far off into becoming too atmospheric and psychedelic. The rest of the formula could lose a bit of its ballz, potentially. I'm just happy that aspect is there at all honestly, it shows once again that this guy never really does anything twice
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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10.05.2017 - 13:07
LuciferOfGayness
Account deleted
Written by Apothecary on 10.05.2017 at 00:29

Written by DeliciousDishes on 09.05.2017 at 23:35

The psychedelic approach is very slight but ultimately present here and there.

Indeed, at times I find myself wishing it had been a little more expanded upon, but then that might somewhat compromise the heaviness of the music if things go too far off into becoming too atmospheric and psychedelic. The rest of the formula could lose a bit of its ballz, potentially. I'm just happy that aspect is there at all honestly, it shows once again that this guy never really does anything twice

I dont really agree with you guys here. As someone wrote on bandcamp this is a black metal trip. The whole album is trippy for me so it cant be more trippy than it already is. Its not the usual psychedelia in which some riffs are recycled from the 70s. Its more like being inside a trip where voices and sound is very unpredictable. Just my way of listening to this
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10.05.2017 - 14:44
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Guest on 10.05.2017 at 13:07

I dont really agree with you guys here. As someone wrote on bandcamp this is a black metal trip. The whole album is trippy for me so it cant be more trippy than it already is. Its not the usual psychedelia in which some riffs are recycled from the 70s. Its more like being inside a trip where voices and sound is very unpredictable. Just my way of listening to this

Understand that there are many different types of psychedelic music (see my list, for example). When incorporated into metal, some bands end up being more of an ode to the classic psychedelia of the 60s and 70s (Enslaved, Hail Spirit Noir, Mastodon, some Oranssi Pazuzu, etc), while others go in a darker, more abysmal, swirly type direction (Wormlust, Arizmenda, Esoteric, etc). I don't really prefer either approach over the other, all I'm saying is that the psychedelic elements on this release aren't necessarily as crazy and dominant as they could be. This is still a blackened doom album first and a psychedelic album second. The psychedelic elements complement the blackened doom, not the other way around
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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11.05.2017 - 03:32
Lord Slothrop
This is my favorite album of the year so far, but I'm rather biased towards TROB. The Pythia's Pale Wolves is worth the price of admission alone; gives me chills every time I listen to it.
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11.05.2017 - 14:44
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Lord Slothrop on 11.05.2017 at 03:32

This is my favorite album of the year so far

Probably this, Skaphe, and Ulver for me
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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13.05.2017 - 20:15
Maratha
Although Skaphe is at a different realm on its own in chaotic BM, Exuvia is a much better experience in terms of length and depth of theme. But I prefer Exuvia more now just because of this review. This is A GREAT ONE MAN BM/DOOM BAND!
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13.05.2017 - 21:04
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Maratha on 13.05.2017 at 20:15

Although Skaphe is at a different realm on its own in chaotic BM, Exuvia is a much better experience in terms of length and depth of theme. But I prefer Exuvia more now just because of this review. This is A GREAT ONE MAN BM/DOOM BAND!

ROB and Elysian Blaze are probably my favorites for blackened doom, period.
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
Loading...
20.05.2017 - 07:06
Lord Slothrop
Written by Apothecary on 11.05.2017 at 14:44

Written by Lord Slothrop on 11.05.2017 at 03:32

This is my favorite album of the year so far

Probably this, Skaphe, and Ulver for me


I like the Skaphe album, although I haven't heard it enough to place it. I've been thinking about taking the new Ulver plunge, but I'm not sure it's my cup of whisky. I like many kinds of music, but electronica is close to the bottom of the list.
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