Monday, September 16, 2013

The Ruins of Beverast: Blood Vaults - The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer (2013)

Cryptae Sanguinum - Evangelium Flagrans Henrici Institoris

The Ruins of Beverast is one of those bands with a fanatical cult following, whose fans are intimately familiar with every release and the band’s evolution, and who are willing to shell out extra money for an elaborate physical release. Since I’ve never heard the band before, fans of the group should ignore this review. You are not the intended audience. Conversely, if you’re not already an uber-fan, then the uber-fans’ reviews are completely useless to you. So that’s where this comes in.

Between the type of fans they have and the incredibly long-winded title, you can make two perfectly reasonable guesses about this, all of which would be true. One, the songs are really long, and the album is really fucking long. Two, there is plenty of artistic merit to the work, but not enough to warrant the overall length. But it just might be worth trudging a little bit further into this record, considering how good it really is.

Apparently The Ruins of Beverast was a black metal band, but that’s not the case here. Some of the leads are played in an almost black metal style, but overwhelmingly the record is funeral doom of the melodic death/doom persuasion. Almost exclusively death growled vocals tell what’s probably a Lovecraftian story (I didn’t read the lyrics), and a healthy dose of synthesized organ paints the backdrop. The result lands somewhere between Triptykon and Esoteric. That’s a good place to be.

Although Blood Vaults is in a good style, has memorable melodies, and is actually fairly dynamic in terms of tempo, it has that one serious flaw which I’ve already mentioned. It simply doesn’t justify its own length. While it may sound like Triptykon and Esoteric, it doesn’t have the staying power of either.

I’m starting to come across as a broken record these days, but that flaw is all too common in today’s metal. To be perfectly clear, this could have been an excellent 60 minute record, and that’s plenty long enough for anyone. Tacking on the extra 19 minutes isn’t a bonus, it’s poor editing.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Nice review. I have to listen to this a couple of times to get what's going on, haha...

    Great site also. I'm gonna add you to my bloglist as well, if you would like a link exchange, let me know.