Count Raven - _Mammoms War_
(I Hate, 2009)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
The Readers Digest version of Count Raven's history is that they formed in the mid-Eighties, released a their debut in 1989, issued a few more classics, split up in 1996, reformed in 2003, two thirds left, and six years later, the sole surviving member gathered together a few buddies and recorded this, their first album for the 21st century.

Although it does venture into epic proto-doom territory (think of fellow Swedes Candlemass), I hesitate to call this doom; Sabbath derived heavy metal or even rock is a much more apt description. Speaking of which, the vocalist sounds more than a bit like Ozzy, albeit more accomplished. If '70s Black Sabbath does not feature in your collection, don't even bother sampling their material at MySpace -- they are that strongly influenced. The album's strength is their grooving rhythms: lead guitar rarely features, and unless Ozzy's nasal whine is considered the epitome of heavy metal singing, the vocals aren't impressive. Once they get a groove going, the listener is completely lost in the momentum of the song, helpless to offer any resistance.

This is not a classic Count Raven, but it is a good album, especially in an era where classic bands reform every other week, only to release mediocre songs.


(article published 14/2/2010)

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