Black metal is my post-Halloween cushion. After a month of listening to fun songs about monsters and ghosts, it’s fun to return to the straightforward hard-edged humorless world of wintery devil worship. But in that respect, I also want black metal at its thrashiest, without the horror movie trappings of keyboards and orchestras. I want the charge, the battle cry, the swing of the blade.
Greece’s Ravencult gives me all those things and more. The band plays cutthroat black metal that manages to take majestic arch riffs and play them with enough speed and kinetic energy to wipe them clean of any pretension. The result is black metal that moves you, never stopping and indulging in a whispered paean to the moon or an ambient soundscape but instead slaps the Jack and Coke out of your hand and smashes a spiked gauntlet directly into your temple.
The band’s 2011 album Morbid Blood is a masterpiece, but this Friday sees them releasing their latest, Force of Profanation, which you can stream in its entirety below via CvltNation. Grit your teeth, clench your fists, and gather around the flames of these riffs, because winter, my friends, is fucking here.