The Ruins of Beverast - _Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite_
(Ván, 2009)
by: Alexandra Erickson (8.5 out of 10)
I don't necessarily know how to classify the Ruins of Beverast. Ambient black metal, yes. Atmospheric black metal, sure. Depressive black metal, yeah. There is a laundry list of adjectives that can all typify this project, and all fit like a glove. The brainchild of Alexander von Meilenwald (of Nagelfar fame) as their battery, the Ruins of Beverast are a definite leap in a far opposite direction than Nagelfar. Melancholic yet oppressive, haunting and melodic yet chaotic and frenzied.

The one thing that stands out about the latest release, _Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite_, is the production quality. Crystal clear, gorgeous, perfect. This fact alone allows the music to prove itself and carry its weight. Running well over an hour long, this album is hypnotic. You'll find yourself listening to it on end without ever snapping to consciousness to realize what your ears are receiving. His vocals are monstrous, deep and menacing and gravelly black metal in their infinitesimal breadth. From growls that haunt to the use of choral harmonies, vocally the album flows like water. From menacing one-minute-long tracks of unsettling reverb, chanting and electronic noise to 12+ minute-long epics, an ability to be malleable as an artist is displayed without arrogance. Ambient, ethereal segments soothe the burn of crushing, bleak black metal. This is a beautiful release, from start to finish. Melodic without being annoyingly soft, brutal while still retaining hefty listenability, cruel and discordant without apologizing. _Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite_ thrusts the Ruins of Beverast head-first into the realm of contemporary black metal, and he's coming up swinging.


(article published 4/1/2010)

3/25/2007 T DePalma 9.5 The Ruins of Beverast - Rain Upon the Impure
6/20/2006 T DePalma 8.5 The Ruins of Beverast - Unlock the Shrine
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