DARK RAVAGE
Fall of Inner Sanctum (2013) By xDemoNx

This is a release coming from the near past and from Lithuania, something that makes it more interesting and you more curious to discover the music coming from a country with not many Black Metal bands. The album is called “Fall of Inner Sanctum” and it was released in February of 2013, while it is the second full length album of the four member band Dark Ravage. The band began to play music in 2003, although they managed to release their first demo in 2005. They have also released another full length album in 2007 and a demo in 2014. “Fall of Inner Sanctum” contains eight compositions of traditional Norwegian Black Metal of overall duration of about fifty minutes. The band, musically, presents us a frozen, quite melodic and full of feelings version of the classic Norwegian – Scandinavian sound, which didn’t manage to get away of the clichés and the much – played patterns of this sound. How much damage though, can this cause to an album?

On my opinion it can cause much damage, as the influences and the clichés of a sound, they don’t allow a band to pass its character into the compositions while they also limit a lot the creative expression of the band. Moving forward to the music of the band, the riffs that we come across here are from medium speed – rhythmic to very fast ones. The feeling that they put out almost always it is frozen, melancholic and quite esoteric, while generally the album gives you the impression of a long wandering into frozen – snowy landscapes. The riffs are long, melodic and into the parts of medium speed they will remind you of dsBM. Into the faster parts now, maybe they will remind you of an epic, melodic and majestic Black Metal sound. The few atmospheric passages give a beautiful, atmospheric side of the band and make the transition between the different feelings smoother. The structure of the compositions is somewhat monotonous and in some parts it becomes a little tedious, while the duration of the tracks doesn’t help too, because it is long (from five to eight minutes). However the band has some quite interesting changes which stimulate the interest of the listener.

Regarding the performance of the instruments now, the band shows that it knows well to deliver the music that it composes, on one hand concerning the deliverance of the instruments technically, on the other hand the deliverance of the feelings. The guitars rule with their frozen, other times full of anger, other times melancholic – sad style, they deliver spotlessly and with absolute accuracy the feeling of the compositions. The bass is somehow lower in the mixture and it is not clearly audible into every part of the album. When it is audible, it has quite interesting lines. The drums are played with much power and a lot of passion while by technical aspect they are spotless. The vocals are harsh Black Metal vocals, absolutely monotonous, with not even one change in order to present the different emotional states of the music and generally they can be really tedious for the listener. The production is clean and somewhat flat, on one hand it removes the depth from the compositions but on the other hand it gives them a very frozen character. The mixture has managed to find the balance between the instruments and to give to the compositions a massive character but without achieving to give them the depth that they lack. Finally, the lyrics are written in English and they are not contained into the cd apart from one or two lines of every track. By the few that there are and by the style of the music I believe that they express the esoteric, other times melancholic, other times angry wanderings of the band.

Although “Fall of Inner Sanctum” is an album that has a lot of mistakes which hold it back to a mediocre level, as also the absolute devotedness of the band to the classic Black Metal sound, so much that a lot of times it suffocates their own personality and creativity, it has some elements that shows us something more. The sentimentality that they manage to pass through their compositions to the listener, the images and the journey into the snowy landscapes and the quite interesting elements, are showing to me that if this band corrects some things and let its creativity more free, it will succeed to offer something to the listener. This album, although it is not bad, it doesn’t have much to offer, so I only suggest it to those who are searching only for Scandinavian, epic, melodic and frozen Black Metal.

1. The Morning That Never Came 06:46
2. Where Paths Disappear 06:04
3. Running from the Truth 04:28
4. Drowning in Fresh Air 07:26
5. Wandering in Burning Cold 06:31
6. Fear to Be Betrayed by Oneself 06:31
7. Into Abyss Out of This World 04:43
8. Void That Chaos Has Created 06:34