Ashen Dominion

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale is a strange one-man act. Founder and multi-instrumentalist Astaroth Merc started the project in 2006 as a vehicle for his atmospheric, droning black metal, but over time the sound underwent massive mutations. Death/doom influences began creeping in and the musicianship grew by leaps and bounds. By the time of 2017s Planetarium, the project was starting to sound like a heavier SIG:AR:TYR, riffy and full of beautiful guitar-work while retaining a powerful black metal core. That album was based around a space theme and the long-form compositions did it justice with expansive vibes and deep, rich moods. For whatever reason, Merc opted to follow that up with a full-on funeral doom approach on 2019s Morphine Dead Gardens, which I loved muchly. Now barely a year later he’s clicked back into blackened mode with a conceptual sequel to Planetarium.” Astronomy domine.

Raventale – Morphine Dead Gardens Review

Raventale – Morphine Dead Gardens Review

“Back in the early days of my tenure at AMG, I found myself reviewing a fair amount of black metal. As it was only AMG and myself writing reviews back then, it was all hands on deck regardless of genre, and that was how I came to cover a relatively obscure one-man Ukrainian black metal act named Raventale. The project of a mystery man named Astaroth (Balfor, Chapter V: F10, et al), Raventale‘s awfully titled 2011 opus Bringer of Heartsore had me enjoying of deep atmosphere on long, meandering compositions that somehow held my attention and transported me to melancholy worlds at discount prices.” Dead gardens, newborn sound.

Ezkaton – Sheen and Misery Review

Ezkaton – Sheen and Misery Review

“From the opening seconds of “Altars of the Flame,” I knew Ezkaton’s Sheen and Misery was going to be a special record. The mournful, melancholy guitar melody rises and threatens to overwhelm before a voice breaks through the tension. The cold narrator quotes from the 1984 film Children of the Corn, where Issac commands the children to kill Joseph at the behest of He Who Walks Behind The Rows, and I got lost in the story.” From husk til dawn.