Greece’s Ravencult are one of black metal’s most underrated bands. Their second album, 2011’s Morbid Blood, made my top ten list that year, and with good reason. Morbid Blood is a barnstormer from start to finish with fast riffs, blistering speed, a punkened snarl from vocalist Linos and a huge sound that gave the album an incredible sense of weight.
This was Marduk on steroids, and yet, for the most part, the album remained a blip on metal’s radar. I feared that Ravencult would disappear into obscurity, especially since barely a peep has been heard from the band since.
Enter the tail end of 2016, and Ravencult finally return with a new full-length, Force Of Profanation, and with a new vocalist to boot. Linos is hard to top for this type of rip roaring black metal, as his snarl lended a crust vibe to what is already an over the top assault.
But, new vocalist Alexis Papatheofanous is more than up to the task. A., as he is officially known here, has a gruffer delivery with less of a crust vibe, but the approach works just as well as Ravencult once again deliver an all out assault of fast black metal with Force Of Profanation.
The album is loaded from top to bottom with fast riffing and blistering speed. You can forget about melody, guitar solos and other such niceties as the purpose here is to just simply blow your head off. Force Of Profanation does that, and then some, in a record consisting of eight songs that flies by in about 33 minutes. You’ll be hitting the repeat button more than once; at least, until your neck snaps off.
Force Of Profanation is, admittedly, a bit cleaner sounding than its monstrous predecessor and A.’s vocals are a bit more muted compared to those of Linos, but this is overall just another great album from Ravencult. To boot, the band is now signed to Metal Blade Records, so I expect Ravencult to make a much bigger impression this time around.
(released November 11, 2016 on Metal Blade Records)