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Review: The Ruins Of Beverast - Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite
The Ruins Of Beverast
Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite

Label: Van Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 79:52
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: September 18, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.53/5 (90.56%) (72 Votes)

Again, he's done it again. The problem with making a pretty much perfect debut album like Unlock the Shrine is that you then have the unenviable task of following it. Alex Von Meilenwald managed this almost impossible task by unleashing the dense, iconoclastic Rain Upon the Impure, which both built on the adventurous sound of the debut album, while at the same time blazing new paths and breaking new ground. Now, with the release of Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite he has done what even I did not think he could do: he has topped them both.

Unlock the Shrine was an existential workout proving what the sounds and forms of Black Metal could do if they were commanded by a genius with ambition and a total lack of fear. Rain Upon the Impure was an effort to make that sound denser, uglier, and more inscrutable than before, producing one of the darkest, least welcoming albums in Black Metal history. I was unable to really even imagine what Meilenwald could do as a follow-up without retreading old ground, but it really says something that he has produced an album that is utterly surprising while still seeming like the logical next step. Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite is darker and more complex than Unlock the Shrine, with something of the oceanic crush of Rain Upon the Impure, yet it is much more open and less forbidding than that album. This is…well I'm having a hard time describing it aren't I? The delights of this dark masterwork are well-hidden inside coiled and arcane song-structures. Four listens was what it took for this album to open up to me and reveal its secrets, so complex and ingeniously constructed it sounded like a completely different album each time. This album ate me alive…for days I couldn't stand to listen to anything else. Nothing else was as satisfying, as challenging, as involving as this labyrinthine tour through dark caverns and bleak shores. I don't think any other album this year will be as gratifying time after time after time. If you want to experience what Black Metal is capable of doing as a real art form, then you must hear this. Buy it, listen to it, absorb it, be absorbed by it. Masterful.

More about The Ruins Of Beverast...
Review: Blood Vaults - The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Blood Vaults - The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Exuvia (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Rain Upon The Impure (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Thule Grimoires (reviewed by Mjölnir)
Review: The Thule Grimoires (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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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