|Review: The Ruins Of Beverast - Rain Upon The Impure|
|Rain Upon The Impure|
Label: Van Records
Year released: 2006
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: March 8, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Rain Upon The Impure
Rated 4.73/5 (94.62%) (52 Votes)
How can I possibly convey in mere words the utter mastery of Black Metal wielded by the superlative Alexander von Meilenwald? I was completely blown away by his 2004 debut as The Ruins Of Beverast Unlock The Shrine, and I bestowed upon it the only '5+' I have ever given to a BM album. So I was sweating this new one: how could the first album be matched, let alone surpassed? Surely such a monstrous beast of sound and fury had to be a one-off fit of brilliance by a genius who would vanish or kill himself before he could even try.
Amazingly, Rain Upon The Impure is more than a worthy successor to Unlock The Shrine, and manages to be equally brilliant in a completely different direction. While Unlock The Shrine was a display of despair and crushing misanthropy at the hands of a master of sound and aural space, it was an album made up of parts. You could easily see the parts fitted together – brilliantly so – but it was a distinct album with a lot of room to breathe. The music was focused on distinct riffs and melodies, all set apart by ambient interludes that built the atmosphere and gave the album a more sprawling feel than this one, despite that Rain Upon The Impure is almost ten minutes longer.
Rain Upon The Impure is an exercise in fusion of sounds into a single, onrushing wave. The instruments are much less distinct this time, all of them mixed together and pressed into a crush of sound that initially bewilders with its density and richness. On first spin I had no idea what to make of this, and it sounded like an impenetrable miasma that I could hardly make out. The whole is mixed very together and a bit low, so you have to turn it up about twice as loud as more slickly produced metal. But again, Meilenwald knows exactly what he is doing, as once this is cranked up, it wraps around you like a tidal wave and carries you away, and it will never let you go. There are seven tracks here, and five of them are full songs all clocking in around fifteen minutes each. This is a nearly eighty-minute album that seems too short, and when the last magnificent tone of the title track is over, I always think "Fuck, is that all?" and I hit 'play' again.
There is so much going on in each song that it seems pointless to even try describing it. These are densely-packed, massive oceans of fury and emotion, cut apart here and there by enigmatic voice-samples and amazingly delicate melodies. Witness the unearthly Gregorian chant that is built throughout "Blood Vaults", and the simple yet haunting acoustic melody that fills and fulfills the album strongpoint "Soil Of The Incestuous". There is not a single track here I would make shorter by a single note, and this album could be twice as long and I would still want it to be longer.
Some people would compare Meilenwald's genius to other legendary musicians which have haunted the metal landscape. I myself will maintain than no talent to equal his has ever yet been seen within the Black Metal circle, and may not ever again. The man is single-handedly redefining what Black Metal is about and what it is capable of with his seemingly inexhaustible abilities. I am amazed to be struck speechless yet again by this visionary artist, and I can only imagine what waits in store for the future. If you care about Black Metal at all as a vital, growing genre then you must have this album. Unbelievable.
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Review: Blood Vaults - The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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Review: Unlock The Shrine (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Meilenwald on June 18, 2007 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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