Review Summary: Shedding their former shell.
Ruins of Beverast have come a long way since “Rain Upon the Impure”. The production values, while still very dark and dissonant, are much cleaner than they once were and the band has adopted an even more compositional sound with a bigger variety of influences than they are generally known for. Off of “Exuvia” Ruins of Beverast successfully eschews their shell while casting themselves a new mold with only a faint imprint of the past. Here, tribal chants, wolf howls and even bagpipes are brewing in a melting pot alongside vicious drum patterns, slow, melancholic guitar work and occasional rampant outbursts.
From the very beginning this album exerts its new influences upon the listener, starting with the track “Exuvia”. Immediately we’re greeted with a dark, shamanistic ritual taking place during the track's intro. Winding guitar passages then take precedence until the harrowing closer sees a hybrid of tortured screams and oddly calm cleans, creating a feeling that is immensely unsettling as well as showing a rekindled sense of creative passion. From this creativity stems mystery that draws the listener into a hypnotic trance, and at no point does it ever let go. There is no respite here-no comfort, no beauty or hope in all the discord and melancholy. This doesn’t mean that their isn’t a certain level of peace pervading through the thick hazy fog of pounding drums and howls, however,“Surtur Barbaar Maritime” being a prime example of this. This album is gripping and for the time you are listening to it, nothing else in the world exists. Only Exuvia.
The pinnacle of this record would have to be “The Pythia’s Pale Wolves”. The plaintive sound that this album builds through the whole record is absolutely monolithic and crushing at this point, feeling cataclysmic and suffocating. The track brews slowly and wisely, giving much more power to the high pitched shrieks and yelps that come storming in, instilling a fear that very few records can match . Once it finally does, everything is calm once more as if nothing had ever happened. This is probably the most tortured and disturbing track off this entire record, yet it is equally entrancing. It’s as if every moment beforehand was executed to be a stepping stone to the monster of a track, “The Pythia’s Pale Wolves”. Still, each track is executed near flawlessly. I say near flawlessly because there is one minor drawback this album suffers from, which is just how immense it is. It clocks in at just over 67 minutes while containing only 6 tracks, meaning it requires devotion to sit through the entirety. For those who can manage however, there are great things in store and you will be heavily rewarded. You will be transported into a whole new realm of shamans and warriors and spirits, a world much unlike our own. The ability to cloak the outside world from the listener isn’t one that’s easy to pull off, but here it’s accomplished magnificently.