The Ruins Of Beverast | ‘Blood Vaults’
The solemn heaviness of guitar. The bellow of dusty church organs. The guttural growl from depths below.
It’s been too long since the last truly awe inspiring Funeral Doom album, even thoug Ruins Of Beverast wouldn’t really be seen by many as even being a Funeral Doom band. To be honest, one can dispense entirely with genre when talking about music like this – it comes from somewhere far deeper than that. And yet here it is: truly, an album for the ages.
The solo project of Alexander von Meilenwald has lurked in the shadows over a decade now, spewing out obscurity that has lain hidden from the sight of most.
His latest album though is a masterpiece of forlorn anger that deserves to be heard by everyone who worships at the Doom pantheon.
A huge and sprawling work that straddles three distinct movements in around 80 minutes, its a bleak evocation of the utterly occult in music. Using the tones and sentiments of earliest My Dying Bride (As The Flower Withers, Turn Loose The Swans), it proceeds to wallow in the darkest musical tombs imaginable.
Best of all, this isn’t shittily produced or half cut stuff just for the sake of being underground or exclusive. The sound is monstrously clear, heavy as absolute fuck, and beautiful in its ogre like fury.
I wont disect it track by track, because it’s not meant to be listened to that way. But let’s for a second break down centrepiece ‘Spires, The Wailing City’. It opens with the kind of clean pluck that My Dying Bride used to call their own, and still means much for that fact.
After the tumult of broken images that is the body of the track, a thumping array of toms begin to swirl while Alexander mutters some demoniacal rite or other, oddly processed and sounding truly horrific. After that, the slow build to a movement of heraldic grandeur worthy of Skepticism’s monumental ‘Lead & Aether’.
An album like this, to me, is the very definition of what underground metal should be about. All the bluster and photoshoots in the world could never communicate the fear, evil and ultimately reverance that this album manages to balance.
It’s as if it were penned by Frankenstein’s monster itself; the vocals are those of a tortured, wracked protagonist while the music simply decries woe from start to finish.
Depending on your point of view, it’s probably great that bands like Watain and In Solitude have gone mega this year. I’d ask you to forget them and their like though in favour of this utterly meaningful and authentic product of a more genuine underground – that being the underground that’s actually inside.
You cant fake this stuff. The creativity, the brutality, the tension and the pure unalloyed honesty of it is to be savoured. It’s one of the bleakest, most amazing pieces of extreme metal art I’ve ever heard, and joins the likes of Skepticism, Thergothon and Indesinence in the kingdom of Doom/Death greats forever.
If anyone still cares, one of the most important things about Doom was that it marvelled and feared death, rather than simply revelling in the scandal of it all, like other metal. Musically, it bowed to the tragedy and inevitability of the human condition rather than glorifying its gory excesses. This album, through its pained and uncouth medium does that – terrifically.
Get it immediately.
5 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 13/10/13