A Wild Kali Approaches

Nov. 24, 2015


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More music from Ukraine. Not a place many would vacation, but the metal just keeps on coming. "Following the footsteps of Drudkh, Khors and early Nokturnal Mortum, Raventale delivers its own brand of scintillating atmospheric black metal that's at once emotive and intriguing." The lyrical content has to do with Indian and Tibetian philosophies, and as the cover would imply, the terrifying Kali. When your album takes imagery from a goddess whose name means "black one," carries a severed head, and defeats demons; you know it's going down.

"Intra-Mantra" isone of the creepiest introductions I have ever come across all year. Akira Yamaoka dark ambience meets a morbid, whispered nursery rhyme. Enter the pounding of what sounds like an entire crew of tribal drummers. This foundation of bass and toms is my favorite part of the instrumentation, but everything here works better as a whole. The ethereal synth work, moody chord progressions, harsh growls, and mantra-like chanting are all necessary components to creating a precise atmosphere.

And so could be said of the entire album. While The guitar does step out for the occasional BM hook as on the title track, it mostly works to serve a greater purpose through basic, but effective, playing style. Where the melody tends to soar is on the symphonic side of things. Far from bombastic, but profound nonetheless, these additions are a critical ingredient. The piano and ambience on "Last Moon Fermata" is a particularly equisite episode. And when backed by the ineffable intensity of the drums and vocals on tracks like "Kali's Hunger," the imprint is everlasting.

Dark Substance of Dharma can be yours today through Badmoon Music for just $9 for a CD copy. The album is streaming below thorough bandcamp, but if you dig atmospheric black metal, it shouldn't take long to make a decision on what to do. Kali commands it.