Archive for texan metal

Blodravn – Words Of The High One [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 27th August 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Blodravn
Album: Sayings Of The High One
Release year: 2011
Genre: True Texan Folk Metal

”Blodravn” is the project of Texas-based musician Anthony Riddle. The lyrics are described as “Asatru belief inspired” while Anthony himself takes musical influence from bands such as “Falkenbach” and “Ensiferum”. The debut release of Blodravn is “Words Of The High One”, the English name of the Eddic poem “Havamal”.

The first track, generically named “Intro”, begins with the sound of roaring thunder and rain. The thunder is soon accompanied by a solemn orchestrated section. Though the orchestration dominated the rest of the track, the sound of thunder can be heard occasionally, adding a very divine atmosphere. “Of Swords And Honour” starts with a cheery, folk-like section – almost sounding like a song that should have been played during Lord Of The Rings. When the guitars turn heavy, the music doesn’t seem to gel well together after a while. The vocals seem to switch between aggressive-like screams and grunts to clean vocals far too quickly. ”Væringjar” starts with a mixture of acoustic guitar and vocals, making for a superb folk-like introduction. The use of heavier guitars does come into play after a while, mixing well with the flute and acoustic guitar. The vocals later on in the track are a mixture of black metal-like screams and folk-sounding clean vocals, giving the song a very tame Ensiferum-meets-Tyr type of sound. The drums don’t seem to really grab the attention of the listener. The only thing that really sticks out about this track is the chorus.

The title track, “Words Of The High One”, starts with the sound of running water followed by a folk-influenced introduction. When the track turns heavy, it sounds similar to a track from Bathory’s “Hammerheart” album. The screams add a dark yet angry touch to the song, though it does seem the symbols are used a bit too much in sections. The folky section about half away through is both a good break and a great composition. The track does return to its Bathory-like sound, which is somewhat eerie and brilliant. “The Golden Hall” begins with the heaviest introduction on the whole album, mixed in with some epic symphonic riffs. The vocals, despite being raw and powerful, seems quiet compared to the music. The choir sections inject a very epic sound to the song.

”A Spell for Chameleon” begins with the sounds of birds and other animals before being drowned out the acoustic guitars. The guitars do turn heavy for a short while before going back to their soft, acoustic medleys. The acoustic medleys and heavy riffs work together through part of the track, creating a beautiful sound. The orchestration through parts of the song is just beautifully mesmerising. The album finishes with a bonus track which is a cover of the main medley for the legendary game series “Legend Of Zelda”. The cover is done in a very metal way, though the vocals would have sounded better either clean or as screams as opposed low guttural growls. None-the-less, it’s a good cover.

Whilst the first few tracks of “Words Of The High One” leave a lot of be desired, the rest of the album is great. With enough hard work and determinations, Blodravn could easily become America’s answer to Windrider, Ensiferum and Tyr.


Nico Davidson