Review Summary: Hailing from Athens, Ravencult's brand of Blackened Thrash wears it's Immortal, Bathory and Mayhem influence on its sleeve. What they lack in originality they make up for with sheer razor edged intensity.
Immediately one may mistake Ravencult as Blackened Thrash stalwarts, however they were a relatively fresh face within the Greek metal scene in when Temples of Torment was released, having just two Demos and an EP to their name. Channeling their influences from Mayhem, Bathory and Immortal, Ravencult manage to evoke a grim, cold, writhing, violently oppressive soundscape.
If Ravencult could be accused of anything it would be predictability. Evoking easy comparisons to their influences, what Ravencult lack in originality. they make up for with sheer razor edged intensity. Temples of Torment is a straight-down-the-line, out and out assault, with little variation away from relentless blast beats, rapid fire sharply resonant chords & harsh raspy shrieks. Helped along with substantial production, the guitars thicker midrange production allow the maelstrom of flattening riffs the extra weight usually found lacking in Black Metal.
Opening with a highly distorted chant, The Sigil of Bathomet quickly sees sole guitarist Stefanos blitz the listener with cold tremolo picked riffs ala Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Undercut by relentless Vader caliber blast beats courtesy of drummer “K.”, the song finds itself soon moving into a thrashier groove akin to something from Immortal's Blizzard Beasts. Onslaught Command sees the band at it's most punk influenced, rapidly picked three chord riffs helping the song come closer to a rapid "Black n' Roll" styling. The Nightsky Codex offers a change of pace, trending closer to Mayhem's Life Eternal, allowing a small amount of breathing room for the listener before recommencing the relentless driving riff assault with Utter Cold Void.
Short of the twenty seven minute long silence before the hidden track, Temples of Torment is neither fleeting nor a slog to run through. Clocking in at thirty-three minutes of music, Ravencult never fall into the mid tempo rut, instead keeping their tempo changes well within maintaining the unbridled energy of their aural assault, with just enough variation to keep the listener engaged.
Temples of Torment is an hidden gem for fans of Blackened Thrash. While found lacking in originality, Ravencult offers a relentless, rapid fire, maelstrom of riffs, blast beats and aggression worth checking out.
In Times of Demise
Commence the Burning of the Heavens
The Needles of Truth