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Count Raven - The Sixth Storm review



Reviewer:
N/A

19 users:
7.32
Band: Count Raven
Album: The Sixth Storm
Release date: October 2021


01. Blood Pope
02. The Curse
03. The Nephilims
04. Heaven's Door
05. The Ending
06. The Giver And The Taker
07. Baltic Storm
08. Oden
09. Goodbye


It was 31 years ago when Storm Warning was released. Count Raven had a very fruitful decade during the ‘90s, releasing four albums but they also had really long breaks (or break-ups) after that. Hence their sixth LP, aptly named The Sixth Storm, comes in 2021, twelve long years after Mammons War.

Count Raven is a Swedish doom metal band and, since ‘doom metal’ is too encompassing a genre, I would say that their music has a rawer sound and feel of the Saint Vitus kind, rather than the epic one that Candlemass have. However, the main influence is ‘70s Black Sabbath and this is not just due to the actual songwriting, but also thanks to the voice of frontman Dan Fondelius who sounds more like Ozzy than Ozzy does himself these days.

The Sixth Storm is traditional doom metal through and through, with doomed riffs, doomed atmosphere, and doomed lyrics. The pace is sometimes slow, sometimes groovy, but always gloomy and… doomy. I don’t know about you but metal first ‘spoke’ to me through riffs like the opening ones of “Blood Pope” or “The Nephilims”, and I am still a sucker for this stuff. If you are also up for that, you will find satisfaction here.

Other things to praise about this album? First of all, the production which is dirty and rough, and has this street-bred, rock n’ roll character that fits the music like a glove. Then, there are also the little details, like Dan Fondelius saying ‘Guitar speak’ before the solos of “Blood Pope” and “The Giver And The Taker” or ‘Go!’ before the most upbeat riff of the album on the song “Oden” starts playing. The use of keyboards is another aspect that is on point and enhances the experience of songs in different ways; they give an eerie feel on “The Ending”, a pagan one on “Baltic Storm”, and they are nothing less than heavenly on “Heaven’s Door”. Finally, the lyrics must be mentioned; they are simple but also sarcastic, caustic, and even emotional at times. As Mr Fondelius has said in the past, “lyrics should say something, otherwise you might as well just do instrumental music”. The closing piano ballad is beautiful on every level, lyrics included.

On the downside, I cannot oversee the lack of variation and the presence of repetition in some songs. I can accept this approach on “The Curse” because I would gladly listen to its main riff on repeat until the end of my days but I find that same approach to be tiresome on tracks like “The Ending” or “The Giver And The Taker”. The album is very long (the longest in the band’s discography) and I don’t think it needed to be; some editing would have done wonders to the overall appeal and effect. That said, I would not necessarily omit any song, I would just prefer most of them to have been shorter is all.

I am happy that we have another Count Raven release in our hands; the band has had two albums in the last two decades, so this calls for a (doom) celebration anyway. Look at the arch on the cover art. Look at the band logo. What do you expect to find in there other than pure, unadulterated doom?

“Will I see you again?
I am not so sure my friend”





Written on 12.11.2021 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 72 users
12.11.2021 - 11:56
Redel

Great review, thanks a lot.
I agree basically on each and every aspect.
Though on the downsides album length does not bother me too much here. As you say, there is not really a filler song on the album, most songs are just a bit long.
And since they tend to be repetitive they could have shorten some here and there. (By the way, I also detect repetition to some degree across the songs of this album.)
But I must say that I --strangely-- dont have a strong urge for shortening of the album here.
I have such an urge much more on my favourite Count Raven album, which is High on Infinity, where there are 1-2 filler songs.
Let's see, maybe The Sixth Storm will one day become my favourite CR album, it is not far away already, and I would be happy if that was about to happen.

Edit: The only song that I would have shortened is the closing ballad. It is too long for a ballad in my eyes.
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12.11.2021 - 12:00
JoHn DoE

Such a great comeback, I enjoyed it a lot.
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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12.11.2021 - 14:01
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Farewell my friends, see Ya in the Valhalla. Might be their last album before they retires.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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12.11.2021 - 20:36
nikarg
Mod
@Redel: It's impressive that they came up with this so many years after their debut. My favourites are actually the first two albums, although i understand why most would choose High On Infinity.

"Goodbye" is probably the only track I wouldn't have shortened.
But I really like all songs one way or another too.
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14.11.2021 - 23:08
Redel

Written by nikarg on 12.11.2021 at 20:36

My favourites are actually the first two albums.

A good reason for me to revisit their first two albums (last spin probably in the previous millenium).
The debut: Better than I had in mind (A Devastating Age ist such a great song, I had totally forgotten about that).
The sophomore album: Not as good as I had in mind, though I still love Hippies Triumph.
I guess I like their latest album more than the first two.
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16.11.2021 - 21:04
Rage71

Solid album. Man, does he ever sound like Ozzy though. Pretty funny.
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