Force of Profanation by RavencultRelease date: November 11, 2016
Label: Metal Blade Records
Metal does not begrudge the raw, pungent stench of dark intellectualization. Clearly, bands that find suitable themes in the occult create music suitable for praise and worship, ritual I should say. Ravencult is no different. An alumnus of vaunted label Hells Headbangers Records, Ravencult signed with major label Metal Blade Records fresh off the success of Hells Headbangers release Morbid Blood. I loved Morbid Blood, and any follow-up to that landmark album would meet welcome optimism and almost equal skepticism from most fans that thought Morbid Blood was Ravencult’s breakthrough album. This latest release, called Force of Profanation, takes the band’s familiar blackened thrash style and suitably writes quality music fitting the band’s M.O. Although this may be a damn good album in fairness, Force of Profanation is not Morbid Blood in reference to the latter’s appeal. Perhaps, bands like Ravencult don’t belong on major label rosters. Very few critics and fans picked up on the band’s release if at all, and that is unfortunate. Force of Profanation is a good addition to the band’s discography, especially in comparison to the band’s earliest releases. Let’s face it, Morbid Blood won’t be topped easily, and Force of Profanation may not follow it up with increased tenacity and quality, but Force of Profanation proves Ravencult is here to stay.
Ravencult deserves more attention. Particularly with the anaemic response that the metal media and fanbase has shown Force of Profanation. They rage with blastbeats hurtling through time and space like Haley’s Comet yields great destruction each visit it makes closer to earth’s orbit. The band go through thrash-pace drumming and slow down to add nuance, but Ravencult still gives fans the impression that the music is largely at a blistering pace. Like any fan of Ravencult, I believe the band is best when blasting and pummeling the drumkit with uptempo rhythm, and solos would have made a welcome addition to the band’s slower portions at times. No matter how the band mixes up the tempos, the band plays enjoyable metal in the true metal spirit. They move the moshpit with ease on Force of Profanation, and if you don’t air-drum or air-guitar along, you may just find an exit sign in your travails through the metal genre into genres unknown. I’m entirely skeptical that fans won’t like Force of Profanation, and that includes rabid fans of Morbid Blood.
Metal Blade might seem like they’re stockpiling premier blackened thrash bands. Some of the names include Goatwhore, Satan’s Wrath and Lightning Swords of Death. Ravencult is easily my favorite of the aforementioned, and although Goatwhore may come with more fanfare, Ravencult have not seen the marketing that they should expect from a label like Metal Blade. If premier black/thrash is what you crave, your search is over. Get a copy of Force of Profanation and support a band that is easily discernible for its quality songwriting and musicianship. It may come as a surprise to some that Ravencult has even released an album this past year, as the hype surrounding this release has been largely absent, but discerning fans will know what fans who scour the internet find in online magazines such as Echoes and Dust from time to time. I therefore recommend this band for a listen, and if the initial blast section doesn’t eradicate your prevailing skepticism, may you find a better black thrash album that we haven’t heard about already. Then, tell us about it.