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The Atavistic Triad
Released: 2000, Dark Symphonies
Corvus Corax, the band named after the Latin phrase for “raven” are an ambitious “pagan symphonic black metal” band (or so their label has dubbed them) that have more than a few musical ideas taken from the doom metal crowd. Right from the start, I knew that they weren’t going to make it easy on me, as this disc is five tracks, two of which are short instrumentals and the other three are over 10 minutes long! The label’s description of the music already had me worried that they wouldn’t have enough musical ideas to play such long songs, but the beautiful opening keyboard passage gave me hope. As it turns out, Corvus Corax can only be loosely considered black metal. The gargled croak/low spoken work mixture is there, but the musical sound is an extremely dense mixture of thick guitar work and melodic keyboards.
“Son of the Earth” is the longest song on the CD, but also the best. The band weave the aggressive and melancholy together perfectly. The best example of this occurs about 5:00 – 7:20 where the band goes from blastbeats into ambient keyboards and back into blastbeats, all without missing a step. The song is truly captivating. Unfortunately the rest of the CD lacks the punch of the first song. While certainly good, the remainder of the disc sometimes fails to keep the listener glued to the speakers. I often found myself losing concentration on the music and wandering off to do something else. I can easily appreciate the mood that Corvus Corax is trying to achieve, but THE ATAVISTIC TRIAD doesn’t quite get there. If you’re going to explore the world of Corvus Corax, be warned that it is going to take many repeated spins and intense effort to fully enjoy this CD. The journey just might be worth it for truly blackened souls.
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