Review by Sonny for Ruins of Beverast, The - Exuvia (2017)
The Ruins of Beverast are a solo project begun in 2003 by Nagelfar's ex-drummer Alexander von Meilenwald after the band split in 2002. This is his fifth album under that banner, released in 2017 by Ván Records and featuring six tracks with a runtime in excess of 67 minutes (but don't most doom-based albums nowadays?) It is an album that melds several styles into a coherent and natural whole, be it death and funeral doom, atmospheric black metal or ritualistic tribal ambient stylings. The songs aren't of the kind that feature, say, a doom bit here, some ambient there and a bit of black metal tagged on for good measure, but rather, AvM skillfully forges the disparate parts into a single unique entity that flows organically, in interesting directions. The lyrics involve shamanistic exhortations and observations and are emphasized by the paganistic nature of the musical compositions to create an atmosphere redolent with the ritualistic practices of human pre-history, particularly accentuated by the drum patterns and subtle synth work.
As the listener, this album made me genuinely feel that I had been transported to another time and place and witnessed practices no longer remembered by modern man but buried deep within the psyche of all of us, maybe waiting to be reawakened by just such a piece of music. Definitely one of the more interesting and unique albums out there that should appeal to any fan of paganistic black metal or extreme doom metal (or anyone who just enjoys originality in metal music).