Shellyz Raven - _Desolation_
by: Pedro Azevedo (3 out of 5)
Pure gothic music does not attract me, but even though some gothic influences are clear in Shellyz Raven's music, the band was generally able to select and use them well enough for me to find _Desolation_ reasonably interesting overall and some parts of it quite enjoyable. Jenny Hval's vocals certainly help: she occasionally, though not very often, reminds me of The Gathering's Anneke van Giersbergen, and although she's not -that- good, her vocals are quite competent. The use of a drum machine doesn't really help the band, but generally it doesn't hurt them, either. _Desolation_ has an excessively electronic overtone for my taste sometimes, but fortunately this doesn't happen often enough to become a huge problem. The music is generally melancholic, though some annoying keyboard effects occasionally subtract from the atmosphere, but Shellyz Raven do achieve some very good moments during songs like "Heavenly Inferno", "Frost", "Falling" and "Monochroma". The problem is that usually one minute I may be enjoying the music, the next minute wondering what happened to the song. Still, the whole _Desolation_ demo (nine tracks, more than 50 minutes) is available for free download at the band's website in MP3 format -- encoded at a frequency of 44 kHz, as usual, but with a bit rate of 160 kb/s instead of the usual 128 kb/s, ensuring higher quality sound. Also available are lyrics and some very nice, professional-looking high-resolution artwork. Their website also behaved quite well when I downloaded _Desolation_, guaranteeing a constantly good transfer rate. This is an excellent example that should definitely be followed by serious unsigned bands in the future whenever possible, in my opinion -- 3 out of 5 for the music, but 5 out of 5 for the distribution attitude.


(article published 5/3/2000)

9/1/1998 A Bromley 8 Shellyz Raven - Recrucify
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