Archive for Ravenage

The Northmen Return

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 13th January 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

It’s more than a month away until the Faroese titans of Viking metal known as “Tyr” hit the historic city of Jorvik (York for those who don’t speak Old Norse) for their first ever headline show in the UK. Joining their warband for the night of pillaging, drunkenness and face-melting metal will be none other than Hull-based epic Viking metal outfit Ravenage and the Scottish black metal lords “Maelstrom”.

The event is brought to you by Asgard Online (who sponsored Valkyrian Festival 2011) and will be held at Fibbers in York on 18th February. Tickets are available from Asgard Online’s official website: www.asgardonline.co.uk/asgard_events.html for only £16.00!

In celebration of the show, the team got together to bring you our favourite Tyr songs, in no precise order:

”The Wild Rover” – Picked by Hannah.

“Hold The Heather Hammer High” – Picked by Demolithia

“Ride” – Picked by Alasdair.

“Hail To The Hammer”- Picked by Iza.

“By The Sword In My Hand” – Picked by Nico.

Ravenage – Fresh From Fields Of Victory [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 20th December 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Ravenage
Album: Fresh From Fields Of Victory
Release year: 2011
Genre: Viking Metal/Folk Metal/Melodic Death Metal/Yorkshire Metal

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If were to see Ravenage at a show, you’d think that they’d just walked into the venue from ye olde dark ages but it would be a mistake to think that they’re just another run-of-the-mill costumed band with mediocre talent. Since forming in ‘07 out of the ashes of Heathen Foray, Ravenage have gone to to accomplish great feats such as supporting Skyclad and Hecate Enthroned, as well as touring Portugal, Ireland and the UK along with playing the unsigned stage at Bloodstock as well. It’s been three years since the release of their EP “Hardrada’s Fall” but this year has seen the latest chapter in the Ravenage saga written, recorded and released. I am of course talking about the band’s debut full-length release “Fresh From Fields Of Victory”.

The album starts with the majestic orchestrated track “Invictus Arminius”. While at the first I was confused to as why a band labelled as “viking metal” would write a song with an apparent Latin name, it soon became clear that it’s a reference to Arminius, the Roman-raised Germanic general who led the Germanic tribes into victory at the Battle of Teutoborg Forest. Enough of the history though, one thing that truly sticks out about this track is the amount of emotion it stirs. At first instils a strong feeling of grandeur and heroicness before creating a solemn sense of loss. But that grand sense of heroicness makes a truly great return before the track finishes.

”Triumph In The Trees” takes the album down a more metal dominated route. The vocal work provided by “Windrider” and Glyn is definitely one of the finer points of the song. The keyboards are another strong point throughout the track, though I do feel that they don’t do the first vocal section any justice. Beginning with the sound of horses and conversation, comes the epic track “Northbound”, based on Bernard Cornwell’s books. Musically, there’s a slight hint of a Windrider sound though the sound is mostly Ravenage-dominated. The guitar work offered up by Dagstyrr and Einar progresses extremely well throughout the entire song, mixing it up well with the rest of the music and the vocals. The lyrics show a very strong influence of Cornwell’s “Alfred The Great” series, particularly from the third book “Lords of the North”.

The title track, “Fresh From Fields Of Victory” runs through a similar vein to “Triumph In The Trees”. The keyboard sections add in that orchestrated sound that has become an important piece in Ravenage’s music and the guitars keep that aggressive fire flowing through the music. The acoustic section with the flutes adds a more cam yet folky feel to the music. “Shieldwalls Collide” adds a certain eerie grandeur to the album with its organ introduction, an odd reminder of Manowar’s “Army Of The Dead” though I’m not sure if that was the intention. The bass work from Ragnar sticks out the most, keeping the guitars sounding more powerful while the vocals are most fierce. I think this is the best track of the album.

“Winterternia” is a song I became acquainted with earlier this month when Ravenage performed it at their show at Hollywood & Vine and in all honesty, I enjoy it from beginning to end. The guitar work and the keyboard melodies meld well together like tin and copper being smelted together in the process of creating bronze. One thing that did take me by surprise was the genius use of female vocals – Obviously, I hadn’t heard any female vocals when I heard this song live so it was certainly a nice surprise. “Let Vengeance Quell My Agony” brings back that slight hint of a Windrider sound – Noticeable in the keyboard riffs. The vocals lead the music like a metallic Caesar leading his army against the Gauls. Okay, maybe that’s not quite the correct metaphor to use but I hope you get the picture. The guitar solo is one of the stronger points of the song without a doubt and the cleaner vocals add a certain folky feel that echoes the Windrider sound again.

Nearing the end comes a blast from the past. “The Corpse Hall” was featured on the first Ravenage release “The Ravenage”. The introduction is haunting in a weird sort of way, mixing a certain almost-Gothic sound with a barbaric Viking Meta sound which I find to be a massive improvement from the older version. One other thing I did notice in this newer version is the improvement of the sound quality, so for those who like a clean sound quality, the newer version will be much easier on those delicate ears.

What folk metal band would be complete without a good ol’ drinking song? Certainly not Ravenage with their sing-along drinking anthem “More Beer!”. It starts out with a typical sounding pub conversation between Glyn and Windrider. The two words “More beer” signal in the folky jig of guitars. I found the vocal and piano combination to be disappointing as the vocals seemed to be weak sounding. The chorus is far too catchy and I can imagine it being sung in my head for weeks to come now, especially in the pub. The keyboard sections sound slightly Turisas-meet-Korpiklaani while the guitars have that get up and go crazy feel to them.

Without a doubt, Ravenage’s sound has evolved since Hardrada’s Fall. The composition values are much stronger in my opinion and the songs certainly are Vikingtastic but the one issue I have with the album is the Windrider sound in some of the songs. “Fresh From Fields Of Victory” is truly fine piece of musical craftsmanship and is a must have for fans of Tyr, Turisas and Ensiferum.

4.7/5

Nico Davidson

Don’t forget that Ravenage are supporting Faronese Viking Metallers TYR in February 2012. To order your tickets, proceed to: http://asgardonline.co.uk/asgard_events.html

Ravenage w/Support @ Hollywood & Vine, Hull [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 12th December 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Bands: Ravenage, Infernal Creation, Windrider
Location: Hollywood & Vine, Kingston Upon Hull
Date: 10th December

All things come in threes as the saying goes and that was certainly true on the cold Saturday night as three of Hull’ finest metal bands were ready blow the proverbial roof off of Hollywood & Vine. It was also the third time that I would be seeing Infernal Creation, Windrider and Ravenage so the buzz of excitement that was in the air certainly added to my excitement as well.

Windrider opened the proceedings though frontman Elliot was absent from the stage at the beginning of the first songIMG_0007 but he did make himself known when he took to the stage in time for the first vocal section. The bassist Hallam was also absent but a replacement bassist called Greig had took his place for the night – Or at least that’s what I’m assuming anyway. As usual, Windrider performed a tight and mighty sounding set though one parts the fierce roar of the guitars and the keyboard samples did sound to be quite drowned out by the vocals but fortunately it wasn’t the case for the full set. The drum and bass work definitely deserve praise as well. “The Hall Of The Slain” was definitely one of the stronger sounding songs in Windrider’s set. Windrider are definitely a band to see if you’re a fan of the likes of Amon Amarth, Ensiferum and Turisas.

Windrider – The Hall Of The Slain

in  (21)Infernal Creation soon took to the stage after Windrider, bringing their fierce and violent brand of British black metal with them. The tempestuous roar of guitars blasted through the amps like a hurricane as the vocal work of Neiph did much to savagely entertain the crowd. The vehement performance of “The Angel Of Endless Hunger” was definitely a treat to listen to as well, along with the feral sounds of “The Insidious Gospel”. Infernal Creation definitely proved themselves to be one of the finest black metal bands in the abyss that is the British metal underground.

IMG_0151And so then it came to the headlining act for the night, none other than Hull’s very own Ravenage, who earlier this year toured with Nothgard, Celtachor and Infernal Creation as part of the Warhorns Over Aengland tour. Taking to the stage in their Viking outfits, they performed a mighty sounding set, most of which was dominated by majestic IMG_0224sounding songs such as “Winter Ternia”, “Let Vengeance Quell My Agony” and “More Beer” from the new album “Fresh From Fields Of Victory” all of which were simply fantastic. The frontman Glyn did much to show what a great showman he is, including bringing out the old sword – Something which I’d only witnessed once before at a show Ravenage played a few years back in Bridlington. Of course the fun didn’t end there as Ravenage performed a fine rendition of “Viking Dream” from their EP “Hardrada’s Fall” and a fun, folk metal version of “Drunken Sailor” that had everyone dancing. Much to my surprise, they finished the show off with a performance of my favourite Ravenage track “Ravenser”, which sounds better live than the recorded version – The recorded version is still epic though.

The crowd certainly seemed to enjoy the show and so did I. If Ravenage, Infernal Creation or Windrider ever come to your town (or city or village or house or farm), you better make sure you see them because all three put on a damn good show and when they’re all on the same bill, “epic” would be an understatement.

Nico Davidson

Ravenage will be supporting Tyr at Fibbers in York on 18th February. To order your tickets, go to: http://asgardonline.co.uk/asgard_events.html

Interview: Neiph [2011]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th November 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Infernal Creation have been a part of Hull’s metal scene for a few years, supporting acts such as NWOBHM legends Blitzkreig, the mighty Hecate Enthroned and several other acts. They also took part in the Warhorns Over Aengland tour in October, playing with bands such as Ravenage, Celtachor, Nothgard and Windrider. Nico sits down with the “Voice of Misanthropy”, Neiph, who is the frontman for Hull’s very own Infernal Creation.

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Nico: What did the idea for Infernal Creation come about?

Lewis: The ideas and beliefs behind Infernal Creation started to take form long before the band as it is today came into existence. Sin and I started to discuss the formation of a band that could aid in the exploration of the darker, negative and chaotic aspects of being. When we found a drummer skilled enough and with the same vision as ourselves we began work in earnest to create the band that exists now. With Bastard on board it wasn’t long before we could create such an intense and nihilistic beast and, despite various problematic times throughout the years, we have never faltered from our path.

N: Does Infernal Creation differ from other black metal bands? If so, how?

L: The essence of Black Metal is felt differently by all artists, it manifests itself in various different ways so in that sense I would say all Black Metal bands differ. After all there can be no set structure or pattern placed over chaos.

N: Infernal Creation recently toured with Ravenage, Celtachor, Windrider and Nothgard as part of the Warhorns Over Aengland tour, how was that experience for you?

L: The shows we’re quite difficult for me as I was suffering from a throat infection at the time however, the tour itself was a tremendous experience for us we gathered quite a few new fans and contacts from the event. The energies flowing from each band on the bill were unbelievable. It was an event we were truly proud to be involved with.

N: The new album “The Serpent Seed Doctrine” is now available, how would you describe it to someone and what would you say are the album’s highlights?

L: “The Serpent Seed Doctrine” is our first full length CD and as such it is almost a beacon for us to illuminate our future paths.  I feel that the music within is an intense and aggressive piece of black metal art and although it has just been released it is already being well received in the underground community. Songs such as ‘War Is Worship’ and ‘Cataclysm’ are already becoming live favourites.

From a personal point of view it has been interesting to work with different sounds and elements in tracks like ‘The Faceless Prophet’ and ‘Cruciatus Vobiscum’.

The album has taken a year to complete and feels to us as though a piece of our lives and experiences have been removed from us like flesh from bone and transformed into a sonic representation of our trials and tribulations up to this moment for all to hear. We are extremely happy with the fruits of this labour.

N: What has been the best show you’ve played so far? And why?

L: It depends, we have performed at some amazing venues and showcased our art alongside many different bands. I’d say a stand out gig for me would be 2 years ago when Rune Erikson came to a Hull show, we spent some time with him after the event and his advice really hit home and helped us to shape the next paths of the Infernal.

N: Does the band have any plans for 2012?

L: Yeah, we have a lot planned for 2012, we will be starting the year by performing at the Sermon of Underground Brutality festival featuring artists such as Abgott, Hecate Enthroned and Primitive Graven Image. We have a few big events in the works but for this moment in time we’re keeping them within our circle until further details come to light.

N: Infernal Creation will be playing the first ever Valkyrian Festival later this month, how do you feel about this?

L: It will be a great experience. You guys have been very helpful and supportive of the underground music scene for a while now so it will be great to perform under the VM banner.

N: Where do you find the inspiration for the music and lyrics from?

L: I personally find inspiration in many different places, throughout life there is always scope to ask further questions, to explore the hidden paths and truly begin to understand the movements of your soul. It is these actions that create the energies I take inspiration from.

The same applies musically, Sin has a lot of similar influences to me and allows his creativity to almost possess him throughout the writing process.

N: What’s the metal scene like in your area?

L: The Yorkshire scene is quite healthy at the moment, I always think it’s easy enough to simply see the activities of the more mainstream bands in anyone’s area and despair at its current state. But in reality there are a hell of a lot of bands who are carving their own path and if I have to put up with 10 mainstream fools to witness one band who fully follow their hearts then at least I know the true stream of negative art is alive and well in this area.

In terms of the UK underground, we have received a lot of support from the British legions of black metal ever since our inception, which we can be nothing but thankful for.

N: What advice would you give to someone looking to form a band?

L: To follow their own path no matter where it may lead them, to always question, always evolve, to never back down and to expect a lot of hard work.

N: Are there any bands you’d recommend to our readers?

L: Unfortunately there are far too many to mention in full but I would urge people to seek out bands such as Nothgard, Celtachor, Ravenage, Cryptic Age and Baalberith as these bands are devoted to their art forms and give their lives to their music, go see them live and you will understand exactly what I mean. Other than that I would say people should seriously hunt down and listen to Chaos Invocation and Ascension from Germany who are creating some amazing music right now.

For more information on the band, check out their official Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/infernalcreationofficial
Infernal Creation’s new CD is also available for purchase at live shows or through the band’s official website: http://infernalcreation.com

Sea Of Giants – To The Deepest Depths [2011]

Posted in 'Core with tags , , , , , , , on 31st October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Sea Of Giants
Album: To The Deepest Depths EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Metalcore/Deathcore

Sea Of Giants are fairly new to the British metalcore scene but have already proven their worth by supporting Shadows Chasing Ghosts at Home From Home Fest back in August as well as playing a number of other gig as well. “To The Deepest Depths” is their first release which was recorded and produced by Lee Rule [Windrider, Ravenage, Obsolete Tomorrow] who also produced the recent release by Collisions.

”See You In Court” starts off with a surprisingly catchy and melodic riff. The track progresses into a more in-your-face brutal styled piece. The vocals show quite the range, going from death metal grunts to hardcore screams and everything in between. The drums fit their part pretty well, adding to the energy of the music. “This Is To Death” takes no prisoners as it ravages its way on next like a bull that’s just seen red. The vocals are on top form though its the guitars that are the most entertaining aspect of the song.

Coming into the second half of the EP is “Filthy Animal”. The intro is a sound sample which sounds to be taken from a movie. The section that follows after feels weak in comparison to the previous two songs though the vocals keep the track going enough to keep the attention of the listener. The break down is an interesting part of the song as well as it leads into a more powerful part. The one thing that is truly a shock is the melodic guitar section about half way through which probably would sound more solid with a second guitar. Fortunately the drums and vocals save it.

The EP finishes with “Bloodshot Eyes” – Otherwise known as the most violent and aggressive part of the EP. The vocals literally border on the line of being black metal styled screams and the guitars are like the bloodthirsty howls of the damned. The drums are barbaric and savage but intelligently played at the same time. The section towards the end that features no guitars, leaving only the drums, vocals and bass is definitely one of the highlights of the EP.

For a debut release, “To The Deepest Depths” is good. There’s clear signs of hardcore, metalcore and deathcore influences in the music but the band keep their own sound. The EP has a strong start and a strong finish. The sound is clean and polished without ruining the raw aggression of the music or the vocals. The only negative thing about the EP is the third track which is mediocre at best.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Vikings Set To Ravage York (Again!)

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 18th October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

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The Vikings are invading York! Next February sees the Jorvik Viking Festival take place once again. And once the battle is over on Saturday 18th Feb, the mighty Faroese Viking Metal band Tyr will be performing their first ever U.K headline show. Could there be a more fitting culmination to this event? We think not!

The concert, in association with Asgard and the Jorvik Viking Festival will take place at Fibbers on Stonebow – a mere axe throw from the famous Viking Centre itself.

The line-up is confirmed as Tyr, with support from Yorkshire heathen metallers Ravenage and the Glasgowegian black metal band Maelstrom.

Tickets are priced at £16 and can be purchased from the venue, the usual outlets or direct from Asgard’s event page at: www.asgardonline.co.uk

Asgard Online are also sponsoring Valkyrian Festival 2011. 

Collisions – Heavy Echo [2011]

Posted in 'Core with tags , , , , , on 3rd October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Collisions
Album: Heavy Echo EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Metalcore

Collisions are a metalcore band from Hull, East Yorkshire who started playing shows in February 2011. They their EP “Heavy Echo” was produced by Lee Rule [Obsolete Tomorrow, Ravenage, Windrider, e-Divine Sinn].

”XII” is the first track of the EP, only being a breakdown-styled instrumental lasting for half a minute. “Seige” continues on where “XII” ended. The vocals seem weak and strained and the excessive use of drums doesn’t seem to blend well with the guitars in some parts – Truly disappointing as the drums are beasty. The guitars are powerful and on the verge of being real face melters in certain sections.

“Old Wounds” starts with a very drum dominated sound combined with raw vocals and some guitar riffs. The use of melodic riffs inserts an interesting sound to the track, mush more enjoyable than the overuse of drums. Energy quite literally bursts from this song, this could definitely be a mosh pit anthem at a live show – Let’s hope so. The vocals definitely give the song a brutalising edge. The halfway point of the EP comes in the form of “Don’t Pity Me”, beginning with a loud, aggressive vocal section followed by angsty guitars and drums. The big issue with this song is its length – It’s too short!

”Empty Threats” follows after, starting with an intro that has less emphasis on the drum work, which is fortunate for those who aren’t keen on drum overuse. The guitars have subtle hints of melodic stylings in their composition whilst the vocals and drums bring the powerful, destructive sound. The riffs do progress into something more openly melodic yet keeping true to a heavy touch for the song as well. “The Vigil” is a very calm instrumental for the most part, being somewhat similar to a natural high feeling in its atmosphere. There is a heavy section towards the end but nothing to heavy, keeping the mellow sound there. “IWIHMH” is the final part of the EP, sending the EP out with a loud and face breaking roar of guitars and drums, similar to the way “XII” began the EP.

Though having a somewhat distasteful start, the EP is definitely a treat for fans of metalcore and might even wow some non-metalcore fans as well. The production values are simply amazing as well, giving “Heavy Echo” that crisp, clean sound without betraying the style of the band.

4/5

Nico Davidson