Out Now

(Metal Blade)

Blackened thrash can be one-dimensional and limited in its scope – but that’s kind of the point… and when delivered by musicians with fire in their bellies, it can be unstoppable.

OK, Ravencult don’t match the likes of Aura Noir or Deströyer 666 in the songwriting stakes, but they’re a scintillating act nonetheless, and that’s evident as soon as Force Of Profanation charges at you all riffs blazing.

The Greeks’ third opus balances barbarity with blistering delivery, bludgeon with brains: at full pelt, the results are intoxicating. Indeed, tracks like Macabre Triumph feel like the very essence of heavy metal itself, shining like steel, ablaze with passion and pumped full of adrenaline. Ravencult also change up their tempos to maximum effect, switching effortlessly between the battle march of thrash and violent blastbeats, and unleashing volleys of double kick drums to support their assault.

The quartet don’t pull it off all of the time – Beneath the Relics of Old, for instance, leaves little lasting impression, yet songs such as the incendiary Merciless Reprisal more than make up for any flaws… and with Metal Blade now behind them, Ravencult should be hitting bigger stages very soon.

Richard Holmes