The longer it is silent the louder the thunder resounds, in this case the thunder of doom. For a long time it was quiet around Count Raven and their mastermind Dan Fondelius and it was hard to keep the confidence in a new album.
Count Raven is a band whose work can be divided into two, actually three phases. There are the glorious first three records which belong to the timeless doom metal highlights of the early 90s. Unfortunately the guys separated after the release of the fourth album, and in early 2000 the trio got together for some live shows.
Nevertheless, it took a few more years before Count Raven released a brilliant comeback album with ‘Mammons War’ and whoever had the expectation that the sixth longplayer would not be long in the making had to revise their expectations. 12 years after ‘Mammons War’ Fondelius returned with Count Raven renewed in appearance and again the trio ignites a true metal storm – ‘The Sixth Storm’.
What Count Raven present on their sixth album makes the heart of every doom metal fan beat faster. An organ starts the record before a heavy riff takes over and brings the joys of doom metal to the day. A gritty sound, down-tuned guitars and an organic sound are immediately appealing. ‘Blood Pope’ is the name of the opener which also comes in at a decent length running nine minutes.
With 74 minutes ‘The Sixth Storm’ is anything but a mild breeze, which is also underlined by ‘The Curse’. Built on a Sabbathian riff, the song roars slowly and mightily. ‘The Nephilim’ is next on the list and entertains once again with powerful riffing and vocals that are reminding of Ozzy, as we know from the earlier Count Raven albums too. With a hypnotic beat and catchy passages, the tune manages to conquer over the entire length.
Count Raven are masters of their trade and songs like ‘The Giver and the Taker’ have a weight that you usually get from bands like Pentagram, Trouble and Black Sabbath. The old values of doom metal are celebrated on ‘The Sixth Storm’ without sounding old-fashioned. With ‘Oden’ there is another epic on the album before ‘The Sixth Storm’ comes to a very moving end. ‘Goodbye’ is an emotional piano ballad about goodbyes and the pain that comes with it. The song by far outdoes Ozzy’s ballads.
Count Raven doesn’t deliver a huge quantity of new albums but what Fondelius and bandmates bring to the plate impresses. ‘The Sixth Storm’, a timeless masterpiece that shows why doom metal is so fascinating.
- Blood Pope
- The Curse
- The Nephilims
- Heaven’s Door
- The Ending
- The Giver and the Take
- Baltic Storm
Label: I Hate Records
Genre: Doom Metal
Release Date EU: October 29th, 2021
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