Arawn - _Welsh Black Metal_
by: Quentin Kalis (4 out of 5)
It is clear that Arawn have improved considerably since his (project of sole member Bleiddwyn-y-Nos) previous and first demo, _Call of the Cyhyraeth_, an exceedingly simple yet endearing work -- but then he was a mere seventeen at the time. Now an adult, this demo similarly represents a new chapter is Arawn's short life. The most obvious change, one that hits you from the very first note, is the dramatically improved production; and whilst the production is not excellent, it no longer sounds as if it were recorded in a bathroom, imbuing his guitars with greater bite and clarity, rather than overloud and muddy distortion. For some reason, the production is noticeably better and the volume louder on the album opener in comparison to the other two songs. An irritating, but not unforgivable inconsistency.

Extensive acoustic passages have also gone the way of shoddy production, in favour of briefer spurts. _Welsh Black Metal_ never was intended to be a contender in the technical and song writing stakes, but the song writing has also developed and nuanced. Unfortunately, he has also retained the same basic programmed drums, which provide a rudimentary backing beat, but little more.

Arawn's previous demo did contain several melancholic melodies, but this has been more fully exploited on _Welsh Black Metal_, suggesting an allegiance with the melancholic black metal strain rather than straightforward Bathory worship.

Despite all this, I don't quite get the feeling that Arawn is completely ready for being signed to a label just yet, as despite the massive improvements made, there is still room for more. However, Arawn is on an upward trajectory, and provided he continues along this exponential path, I see no reason why he shouldn't be ready for a debut album after just one more demo.


(article published 7/10/2007)

4/17/2007 Q Kalis 3.5 Arawn - Call of the Cyhyraeth
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