RAVEN WOODS — Enfeebling the Throne

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RAVEN WOODS - Enfeebling the Throne cover
3.25 | 5 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2011

Filed under Death Metal
By RAVEN WOODS

Tracklist

1. Zâhir&Bâtin (intro)
2. Enfeebling The Throne
3. Breathless Solace
4. Ecstacy Through Carnage
5. Torture Palace
6. Upheaven-Subterranean
7. Inward Massacre
8. Stay (Dedicated to Evren'Duskhunter, R.I.P.)
9. The Grey Cold Shade
10. The Fading Trace
11. Azab-I Mukaddes (feat Mercan Dede)

Line-up/Musicians

- Kaan Koyuncu / Vocals
- Ozan Yildirim / Bass
- Cihan Engin / Guitars
- Emre Üren / Guitars
- Semih Ornek / Drums

About this release

Released by code666 on the 1st of April 2011

Thanks to UMUR for the addition

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RAVEN WOODS ENFEEBLING THE THRONE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

J-Man
As one of Turkey's few extreme metal exports, Ankara-based outfit Ravenwoods have carried the country's flag since their formation back in 1998. With their second full-length album, Enfeebling the Throne, the band not only offers something unique to the Turkish metal scene, but also to the metal scene at large. Ravenwood's blend of various sub-genres of death metal and black metal, as well as occasional acoustic folk sections, makes their sound stand out as something unique in the crowded extreme metal climate. Enfeebling the Throne does feel a bit incoherent and conventional at times, but it's generally an impressive effort well-worth the attention of any death metal fan.

Enfeebling the Throne's Middle Eastern-tinged blackened death metal style does nod in the direction of Nile and Behemoth, although I wouldn't consider Ravenwoods a clone by any stretch. The band does have their own sound, even if they do wear their influences proudly on their sleeves. Ravenwoods's genre-blending concoction is executed by solid compositions and terrific musicianship, especially in the drum department. Most of the songs here are quite memorable, even if they may feel a tad incoherent and occasionally formulaic. A bit more consistency in terms of songwriting quality would've been greatly beneficial to Enfeebling the Throne. As previously mentioned, the musicians that make up Ravenwoods are an absolute blast to listen to. These guys are professionals who know their craft well, and listening to the way the tasteful riffs, frantic drumwork, and brutal vocals meld together is terrific.

Although Enfeebling the Throne is not a flawless album - the genre hopping occasionally lacks coherency and the songwriting does have a definite formula - it's generally a very strong and highly enjoyable listen. Ravenwoods are a band with plenty of promise, and most of that potential is lived up to on Enfeebling the Throne. People in search of something a bit different from the average death metal album will find plenty to love here. 3.5 stars are well-deserved.
adg211288
Enfeebling the Throne is the second full-length album by Turkish death metal band Raven Woods. The band’s sound mixes death metal with some black metal influence to create a blackened death metal record that doesn’t sound too far off from what bands such as Behemoth deliver. The album has a somewhat different line-up to the band’s previous offering, ...and Emotions Are Spilled (released in 2006), with only guitarist Cihan Engin and bassist Ozan Yildirim (who was actually the drummer on the previous album) remaining. Since I am not personally familiar with the band’s previous work I will unfortunately not be unable to say how well Enfeebling the Throne compares to it.

Enfeebling the Throne starts off with an intro track, Zâhir&Bâtin, which unfortunately I feel inclined to discard as one of those intro tracks that feels completely useless within the context of the entire record. It adds nothing to it and impact of the first proper song, which is the title track, would not be affected in any way by the intro’s absence. Fortunately the title track quickly makes me forget the useless intro as it’s a pretty solid track and definitely one of the best on the album. Songs like this one show that Raven Woods are very capable of making blackened death metal with the best of them.

Unfortunately the album as a whole comes across as something of a mixed bad as the next two songs, Breathless Solace and Ecstacy Through Carnage actually pass me by without being able find anything truly noteworthy about them. They’re not bad certainly, but there is nothing here that makes me sit up and pay attention in case I miss anything, because the sound is predictable and formulated.

A surprise then when Torture Palace kicks in a throws a spanner in the works. Here the band introduce much emphasis on instrumental work with some good acoustic work that clearly takes some influence from Turkish folk music (heard even more in the following track, Upheaven-Subterranean) and some backing female vocals in parts of the song, without losing the blackened death metal feel of the previous songs. This, Upheaven-Subterranean and later track The Grey Cold Shade give Raven Woods a bit more uniqueness to their sound and I find myself wishing that they’d incorporate more of the folksy acoustic work into their music. That may be in part to my being very much into folk metal but it’s also in part that the blacked death metal parts of Enfeebling the Throne don’t come across as anything that hasn’t been done before. Again that’s not to say it’s bad, because it’s not, far from it in fact, but as a whole Enfeebling the Throne does seem to lack some sort of spark to get it out of ‘good’ territory into ‘great’ territory. The band is clearly a group of skilled musicians but I can’t help feeling that if they really honed those folk influences and incorporated them into the overall sound a bit better they’d be a much stronger unit because of it.

They still manage to pull a few surprises out of the hat though, such as some clean vocals in the song Stay (Dedicated to Evren'Duskhunter, R.I.P.), which also has guitar parts that sound closer to melodic death metal than blackened death, something heard in several of the later tracks on the album, such as The Fading Trace.

The final track on the album is Azab-I Mukaddes, which is something of an outro piece done entirely in the Turkish folk style that we’ve heard briefly before. It’s a nice ending to the album, but again, I’d definitely have liked to have heard more of the style included throughout the whole package.

Overall Enfeebling the Throne is a quite enjoyable release from Raven Woods and despite the faults I found with it I do recommend this album and the band, because I think they’ve got potential to deliver something truly exceptional in the future. This time they haven’t come together quite as well as I’d have liked, because throughout I found myself really wishing I could like this album more than I do. Nevertheless it’s very far from being a bad album and you could do much worse than to give Raven Woods a listen.
Vehemency
On their second full-length assault, Ravenwoods unleashes quite a mixed bag of influences from various genres - in good and bad. While the band seems to focus primarily on death metal - be it blackened death metal, technical and brutal death metal or even melodic death metal, yeah, all that is here - the band also incorporates calmful passages of traditional instruments into the mix that makes, all in all, a decent but the same time a tad incorehent 41 minutes.

Primarily, Enfeebling the Throne blasts not unlike Behemoth, including precise and monstrous drumming and very similar growls, and on these tracks I wish the band would have added something more original into the compositions - no matter how crushing these tracks nonetheless are, mostly thanks to the heavy and massive production. Yes, there’s a lot of Nile esque mysterious acoustic moments within songs (”Breathless Solace”, ”Torture Palace” and ”Upheaven-Subterranean” to name a few) but they sound a little apart from the metal, just suddenly appearing out of nowhere. The traditional elements are put to their best use at the outro ”Azab-I Mukaddes” which is entirely in that style, giving that side of the band more time so that it isn’t just a random one-minute interlude between all the chugging riffs and blast beats.

The latter part of the album starts to reveal the melodic death metal which, I surprisingly think, is the most interesting half of the record. The cleanly sung chorus of ”Stay” could appear on an MTV poprock song but I find it done tastefully, and then there’s ”The Fading Trace” that also flirts with that certain Gothenburg sound. All this makes, indeed, a bit random sounding whole of different ideas. With a little more coherency and better mixing of the styles together, Ravenwoods could have produced a fantastic record. What is left now is an album with various good ideas that just don’t all work together so well. Nonetheless, we are not dealing with a lackluster record here, so that those more into death metal than yours truly can appreciate Enfeebling the Throne a lot more.
UMUR
"Enfeebling the Throne" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Turkish death metal act Ravenwoods. The album will be released in April 2011 by code666.

Ravenwoods started their career as a black metal band but have moved closer to death metal with each new release. "Enfeebling the Throne" features a good slap of blackened death metal, strongly influenced by Behemoth but with the unique feature that there are occassional acoustic mediterranean folk music sections in the music. The last track on the album "Azab-I Mukaddes" is solely in this style. That part of the band´s style is only a spice though and mostly the songs are just very effective blackened death metal tracks.

The musicianship is strong and the production professional and well sounding. Personally I think the latter could have been a bit more raw and unpolished to great effect, but fans of more polished death metal productions should enjoy this one greatly.

...so "Enfeebling the Throne" isn´t an album that stuns me with its original sound or creative ideas, but the songs are well composed and the delivery convincing and all in all this is a very professional product. They should think about shedding the sometimes too obvious Behemoth influence somewhere along the way though. Somewhere between a 3 and a 3.5 star rating is deserved.

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