Raventhrone
Malice in Wonderlands


3.5
great

Review

by rasputin USER (196 Reviews)
February 28th, 2008 | 18 replies | 3,230 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Epic, melodic, powerful. An excellent black metal album that appeals to a great variety of tastes.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

How I discovered this album, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Was it because the cover looked absolutely awesome? Or was it because I thought it had to be good because the name sounded like Mirrorthrone? Better yet, was it fate that dropped this amazing album into my hands? Whatever the answer is, I don’t give a damn. I’m just glad I found it. Raventhrone is an epic and symphonic black metal band, a side project of Pazuzu’s Raymond Wells. Two other people have also been members of Raventhrone, but right now the band is in a permanent hiatus. Wells originates from Austria but now resides in Canada. Silenius, of Summoning, is also a member of Pazuzu, and Wells did vocals for Summoning on their early demos, so the similarities between Raventhrone and Summoning can be traced back to this.

On the aptly titled Malice in Wonderlands, Raventhrone mesh together symphony, keyboards, typical black metal tremolo riffing, galloping riffs, powerful clean vocals, black metal rasps and incredibly melodic lead guitars to create something really brilliant. I haven’t listened to anything like this before, bar Summoning, and I was truly amazed. All of the aforementioned aspects are put together perfectly, and result in a fluid and well-crafted album.

The first thing to note about the album is how incredibly melodic it is. No matter where the melody is coming from, be it the guitars, keyboards or symphony, Raventhrone have gone all out to bring a new meaning to epic. The use of the lead guitars is very pronounced, but they aren’t used in the form of guitar solos. Rather, they play together with the vocals, or drive the other facets of the music, emphasizing the melody. Even the rhythm guitar itself is melodic (most of the time). Add to this a melodic symphony, and melodic keyboard, and you can be assured that there is an enormous abundance of melody on Malice in Wonderlands. However, do not be under the impression that the melodic nature of the album takes away from the fact that it is black metal. Raventhrone have succeeded in making a truly melodic album, but there are plenty of brutal and forcefully heavy moments which sublimely punctuate the melody.

In terms of production, I think that Malice in Wonderlands is quite well made. There is room for improvement, but it is by no means bad quality. In the black metal spectrum, they’d be considered very well done. The mixing would have had to require some thought, especially to bring out all the different aspects of the music. Raventhrone have succeeded, but as I mentioned before, it could be better. The production of the vocals is unique, and can work in the albums favor, or against, depending on the individual. They have a very hollow sound to them, as if they were sung in a large room and allowed to echo. At first, I thought this was a little annoying, but after a few more listens I started to see the benefit of it; it made the music seem all the more epic.

The vocals are one of the best parts of Malice in Wonderlands. There are three different vocal styles used, and each of them is executed perfectly. The first is spoken vocals, added here and there to add to the lyrics and the story (if there is one, I’m not quite sure). The harsh vocals are excellent; typical black metal vocals, however they are far more emphasized than usual black metal. The third style of vocals is the clean singing, and this is the defining point for the vocals in general. They are strong, deep, and almost chant-like; possibly similar to Urfaust in nature, but not quite as lame.

I generally dislike symphonic metal, mostly when the symphonic element is overused, or if they are emphasized more than everything else. Raventhrone uses them basically in every song, but it’s not a matter of each song relying on them, it’s more of a situation where they are backing up what is already there. In most cases, the song is better because of its symphonic backing. I could say the same thing about how the keyboards are utilized on Malice in Wonderlands. Asides from the two keyboard instrumentals, they support the songs strongly, but do not overpower them.

This is not your typical black metal, which is probably what draws me back to the album again and again. It’s epic, it’s grandiose, it’s melodic, and completely solid. Highly recommended.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
February 28th 2008



14540 Comments


This review has troubled me over the past couple of days, shall we say a mini writer's block. As usual, feel free to point out errors in grammar/punctuation etc.

Crimson
February 28th 2008



1935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I want this, great review.

BallsToTheWall
February 28th 2008



44205 Comments


Yes. This sounds really good, i'll try to find this.

Digging: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

Confessed2005
February 28th 2008



3314 Comments


Sweet. Looks pretty good. I need to start getting back into black metal.


BroRape
February 28th 2008



803 Comments


this sounds good, but their name is lame.

Willie
Moderator
February 28th 2008



15919 Comments


this sounds good, but their name is lame.
Took my words exactly... good review too.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2008



16318 Comments


I want to hear this.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2008



16318 Comments


Heard a couple of their myspace tracks... I'm sorry but I really hate the clean vocals.

Nostalgia
February 28th 2008



64 Comments


Very mediocre album... it has about one good great, then the others are ruined by bad harsh vocals and poor production. Epic metal like this needs to have a better production value and not be as sloppy.

hermitspancho
February 28th 2008



278 Comments


Sounds really interesting,another for the checkout list .Great review

Tyler
Emeritus
February 28th 2008



7926 Comments


I never saw the appeal to these guys. Wouldn't really say they were black metal either.

Slaytan
February 28th 2008



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It looks like I have another album to check out. Good job reznor.

Thor
February 28th 2008



10186 Comments


I heard this last year and thought it was really boring.

rasputin
February 28th 2008



14540 Comments


Looks like it's a mixed bag for this album. Thanks for all the comments guys.
Have a listen to the song Raventhrone, it's probably the best on the album.

SCREAM!
February 28th 2008



10038 Comments


I heard one sng on their myspace and it was good. Might check this out later but i've got my hands full now after my most recent list

Digging: Old Witch - Come Mourning Come

rasputin
March 5th 2008



14540 Comments


Looking back now, I think I was being a tad favourable towards the album. It has a couple of average songs which are only now sticking out to me. Still, these are overshadowed by the great songs (the album shot right up in my last.fm charts).

FR33L0RD
March 6th 2008



1461 Comments


your review said melodic & black....cool, another band to explore

rasputin
March 24th 2008



14540 Comments


explore away!



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