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Raventale - Dark Substance Of Dharma (CD)

atmospheric black metal, BadMoodMan Music, BadMoodMan Music
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BadMoonMan Music presents the eighth album by Ukrainian atmospheric black metal band Raventale entitled “Dark Substance of Dharma”. This conceptual album is devoted to Indian and Tibetan mythology and offers to fully plunge into the cosmic order of Dharma, to parse the principles of existence and perception of this World. Special attention paid to the recording process and skills reached at previous albums resulted in full and rich tone of the sound.

Tracklist:
1 Intra-Mantra 2:25
2 Destroying The Seeds Of Karma 8:38
3 Dark Substance Of Dharma 6:52
4 Kali’s Hunger 3:08
5 Red Laugh’s Walking 4:33
6 I Am The Black Tara 8:56
7 Last Moon Fermata 7:26

Artist:
Raventale
Artist Country:
Ukraine
Album Year:
2015
Title:
Dark Substance Of Dharma
Style:
atmospheric black metal
Format:
CD
Type:
CD Album
Package:
Jewel Case
Label:
BadMoodMan Music
Cat No:
BMM. 073-15
Release Year:
2015
Barcode:
4627080610972
Country Of Manufacture:
Russia
Review
Aristocrazia
21.11.2016

Astaroth Merc si conferma un buonissimo compositore anche nel nuovo album "Dark Substance Of Dharma". L'artista non è nuovo ad Aristocrazia, il sottoscritto l'ha difatti recensito per ben quattro volte, senza tra l'altro esserne mai deluso, riuscendo ad apprezzare l'integrità e la costanza con la quale, muovendosi nel territorio a lui congeniale del black metal melodico-atmosferico, ha sempre trovato il modo di affinare e definire il proprio ambiente sonoro. L'ultimo parto può essere considerato quale riprova aggiuntiva di tale fatto.

Incentrato su tematiche religiose care all'esoterismo orientale proveniente dall'India e dal Tibet, l'album sfodera praticamente da subito le sue armi migliori. Superato infatti il primo e introduttivo brano "Intra-Mantra", l'orecchio si imbatte in "Destroying The Seeds Of Karma", che contiene un elevato tasso atmosferico evocativo innalzato da un sapiente e gustoso utilizzo di chitarre melodiche (mai stucchevoli), oltre che un calibrato ed estensivo comparto di sintetizzatori coadiuvato da una sezione ritmica essenzialmente primordiale e ferina. Queste qualità sono condivise anche dall'episodio successivo che dà il titolo al lavoro.

Alcuni frangenti più orientati al doom che fanno la propria comparsa in "I Am The Black Tara" e l'anima emozionante intrisa di tonalità maggiormente heavy che affiora in "Last Moon Fermata", caratterizzata da un'indovinata escursione solistica di chitarra, vanno a impreziosire una prova che possiede quel fascino e quella genuinità di intento classici di un'uscita targata Raventale. Evitando di strafare, il progetto ha costantemente prodotto dischi di livello più che discreto, pur presentandosi per diversi elementi noto e classicamente riconducibile a molto di ciò che il panorama anni Novanta del genere ha ampiamente sfornato.

In definitiva, "Dark Substance Of Dharma" è sicuramente da valutare in positivo, è l'ennesima attestazione di bravura di Astaroth Merc nel modellare una forma musicale in grado di accattivare sia in maniera ipnotica che attraverso ritmiche dai tratti ipnotici e ferali. Se in passato aveste beneficiato della compagnia dei Raventale, non vedo nessun motivo per cui stavolta dobbiate evitarvela.

Author: Mourning
Review
Doom-Metal.com
7/10
14.09.2016

Again demonstrating they're nothing if not consistent, Raventale bring out their seventh full-length album, an outwardly aggressive yet palatable block of professional grade Black-ish, Death-ish metal with loads of speedy double-kick drums for the headbangers and a liberal heaping of synthesizer icing for those who like to get a bit mystical while they're at it.

No major changes to Raventale's familiar formula appear on 'Dark Substance of Dharma'. Raventale continue to embody the core musical mission of Solitude Productions, they're just faster about it compared to many of their labelmates. After an enjoyable if generic intro, 'Dark Substance' spreads its wings over familiar territory: loud and meaty guitars strumming over steady, propulsive drumbeats. Angry, mid-range vocals are not far from Dimmu Borgir's Shagrath, and the mix is topped off with a layer of keys to make for a nicely conjured vision of soaring over forested landscapes in the moonlight.

'Dark Substance of Dharma''s overall impression is of well-played but ordinary metal - there's no glaring flaw to point at, but neither is it particularly resonant. Distinct high and low points are absent, instead, it's a flat and even affair with a few breaks into quiet moments and virtually no peaks of cresting emotion. Certainly this may well be what the band intended. (Things do change colour a bit on the biting album closer).

At the end of the day, 'Dark Substance' is another good album from a reliably good band, with all the right pieces fit precisely in place. There's a sense of contendedness, that Raventale are happy to occupy the place they've worked to carve out for themselves. Any Raventale album, this one included, would be a good try for listeners of Insomnium or My Dying Bride looking for where to go next.

Author: Mark Rzeszutek
Review
Atmosfear #17
8/10

Восьмой по счёту релиз киевлян RAVENTALE как всегда радует не только в музыкальном, но и в визуальном плане (я про оформление диска, которое тут как обычно сделано на высоте). Уже по названиям треков, где фигурируют такие слова как “мантра”, “карма”, “тара” и т.п., можно было понять, что на этот раз мы будем иметь дело с концептуальной работой. Так оно и вышло. Новый альбом посвящён индийской и тибетской мифологии, и предлагает полностью окунуться в космический порядок Дхармы. Согласитесь, довольно необычная концепция на нашей сегодняшней сцене даже в рамках жанра black/doom metal. Приятной неожиданностью стал фрагмент классического хита SCORPIONS “Fly to the Rainbow” на предпоследнем треке “I Am the Black Tara”. Пусть такой ход был не совсем оригинальным (как все помнят, данную композицию уже переигрывали шведы THERION в 1997 году), но всё же интересным. Как бы там ни было, “Dark Substance of Dharma” - это качественный во всех отношениях релиз, который обязательно должен быть у каждого фэна RAVENTALE.

Author: CS
Review
Pavillon 666
10/10
28.02.2016

Quel album magnifique !! Je crois qu’il n’existe pas d’autres termes pour le qualifier. C’est une merveille de sonorités qui vous expédie direct vers des contrées hallucinées et mystiques.

Malgré l’omniprésence des claviers qui apporte plus ou moins ce climat ambiant à cet album, on retrouve aisément des teintes d’Inquisition qui ne sont pas pour déplaire et qui apportent un côté sauvage à « Dark Substance Of Dharma ».

Le son de l’album en lui-même est gigantesque, bénéficiant d’une production de très haute qualité. Le côté ambiant, voire atmosphérique est indéniable, mais sur le fond, c’est à un pur album de black metal aux accents très dark que nous avons affaire. Les guitares sont puissantes et voluptueuses. La section rythmique déboîte comme pas possible.

A la fois tout en finesse et en puissance, « Dark Substance Of Dharma » est une œuvre forte et méditative qui nous plonge dans des abîmes de ténèbres d’où une clarté vertigineuse est au bout du tunnel et finit par nous exploser au visage. Cet opus gigantesque est à mon goût une œuvre poétique qui contient beaucoup plus de lumière qu’on ne le pense.

Le chant d’Athamas est résolument hypnotique et éblouissant. Les voix doublées voire même triplées sont complètement saisissantes.
« Dark Substance Of Dharma » est un album burné dont beaucoup de titres sont particulièrement rythmés et guerriers. Si Raventale était un peu plus populaire auprès du public black metal, ces titres pourraient bien devenir des hymnes.

Très franchement, je n’ai qu’une chose à vous dire. Si vous êtes un inconditionnel de la scène black metal pure et dure, achetez cet album ou volez le si vous n’avez pas les moyens, mais vous ne pouvez pas passer à côté d’une telle œuvre.

Personnellement, il n’y a pas de discussion possible, cet opus mérite un 10/10 car Raventale signe ici un véritable chef d’œuvre.

J’espère juste que « Dark Substance Of Dharma » qui est le septième album des ukrainiens, sera un opus qui fera date et que l’on citera comme une référence.

Author: Franckenstrat
Review
Crossfire Metal
8/10

Raventale ist das Soloprojekt des Ukainers Astaroth Merc von Chapter V:F10, der sich hier dem Black-/Doom Metal widmet, den er selbst als Atmospheric Blackened Metal bezeichnet. Unter diesem Banner hat er bereits sieben Alben und eine Compilation veröffentlicht. Und die Mucke kommt ziemlich apokalyptisch, finster und bedrohlich daher; ein düsterer Soundtrack mit gespenstischen Keyboards, Kriegstrommeln und allem, was dazu gehört. Neben einigen Ambient-Passagen gibt es aber auch typisch nordischen Black Metal. Die Mischung ist ausgewogen und stimmt. Dieses Album sollte allen gefallen, die Bands wie alte Summoning, alte Primordial, Wyrd, Kampfar, Horn oder Ov Hollowness mögen. Klirrende Kälte trifft auf düstere Atmosphäre und nervt auch trotz der deutlichen Keyboard-Dominanz seltsamerweise nicht. Dazu wird alles von einer transparenten Produktion abgerundet, die sehr gut zur dargebotenen Musik passt und nicht zu fett oder gar steril rüberkommt. Fans der oben genannten Bands werden hier ihren Spaß haben.

Author: Daniel Müller
Review
Metal Trenches
7.7/10
23.11.2015

More music from Ukraine. Not a place many would vacation, but the metal just keeps on coming. "Following the footsteps of Drudkh, Khors and early Nokturnal Mortum, Raventale delivers its own brand of scintillating atmospheric black metal that's at once emotive and intriguing." The lyrical content has to do with Indian and Tibetian philosophies, and as the cover would imply, the terrifying Kali. When your album takes imagery from a goddess whose name means "black one," carries a severed head, and defeats demons; you know it's going down.

"Intra-Mantra" isone of the creepiest introductions I have ever come across all year. Akira Yamaoka dark ambience meets a morbid, whispered nursery rhyme. Enter the pounding of what sounds like an entire crew of tribal drummers. This foundation of bass and toms is my favorite part of the instrumentation, but everything here works better as a whole. The ethereal synth work, moody chord progressions, harsh growls, and mantra-like chanting are all necessary components to creating a precise atmosphere.

And so could be said of the entire album. While The guitar does step out for the occasional BM hook as on the title track, it mostly works to serve a greater purpose through basic, but effective, playing style. Where the melody tends to soar is on the symphonic side of things. Far from bombastic, but profound nonetheless, these additions are a critical ingredient. The piano and ambience on "Last Moon Fermata" is a particularly equisite episode. And when backed by the ineffable intensity of the drums and vocals on tracks like "Kali's Hunger," the imprint is everlasting.

Dark Substance of Dharma can be yours today through Badmoon Music for just $9 for a CD copy. The album is streaming below thorough bandcamp, but if you dig atmospheric black metal, it shouldn't take long to make a decision on what to do. Kali commands it.
Review
Metal1.info
6/10
17.11.2015

Weder die (Song-) Titel noch das Artwork lassen so recht auf die lyrischen Themen “Wald”, “Regen” und “Dunkelheit” schließen. “Dark Substance Of Dharma”, das bereits siebte Album des Kiewer Ein-Mann-Projekts RAVENTALE, klingt dann auch eher nach asiatischen Mythen oder buddhistischen Lehren oder ähnlich esoterisch angehauchtem Wortgut. Astaroth Merc seinerseits war schon in diverse Kapellen involviert, hier kredenzt er seine Vision von “Atmospheric Blackened Metal”.

Klar, das kann man erstmal so stehen lassen. Frostiger Sound, der aber im Gegensatz zu den norwegischen Szene-Erfindern angenehm gut produziert ist, Blast-Beats bzw. Double-Bass-Dreschereien, flotte Gitarren und heiserer bis leicht grunzender Gesang, die Aushängeschilder werden schnell klar. Auch der Gesang ist RAVENTALE nicht schlecht geraten, eine gewisse Boshaftigkeit lässt sich ausmachen, Astaroth übertreibt es aber nicht und so sind vereinzelt sogar ganze Wörter zu verstehen.
Soweit das Konzept hinter “Dark Substance Of Dharma”. Geradlinig, einfach und ehrlich zockt sich der Ukrainer durch die sieben Songs, wobei das Intro mal ausgeklammert bleiben sollte. Die Lieder sind im Schnitt schon recht lang, das alte Rezept mit häufigen Wiederholungen einfacher Riffs wird gerne angewendet und hat schon seine Daseinsberechtigung. Dies vor allem, weil Astaroth es nicht völlig übertreibt, auch wenn gerade die erste Hälfte des Albums mit etwas mehr Abwechslungsreichtum (gemessen an den Songlängen) sicher spannender geraten wäre.
So dauert es eine Weile, bis sich mehr oder weniger interessante Aspekte ergeben, sinnigerweise geschieht dies zum ersten Mal bei der Coverversion “Red Laugh´s Walking” (für alle Freunde des russischen Undergrounds: Das Original ist von “Инструкция по выживанию”). Wie auch immer die Ursprungsversion klang, RAVENTALE macht die Arbeit hier ganz gescheit und setzt diese mit dem besten Song der Platte umgehend fort. “I Am The Black Tara” erinnert eher nur vom Titel an Emperor, der Song selber ist eher langsam gehalten, vereinzelte Blast-Beats heben das Tempo in der ersten Hälfte mal dezent an, ansonsten treibt eine routinierte Double-Bass die Nummer voran. Gut wird es ab dem Break in einen atmosphärischen und teilweise cleanen Part, der zunächst mit auf fies getrimmtem Flüstergesang etwas dick aufträgt. Der Einsatz der epischen Gitarre macht das aber rasch wieder vergessen und so zeigt Astaroth zumindest in wenigen Minuten, was er songwriterisch drauf hat.

Der Rest ist schon nicht verkehrt, solides Handwerk für Freunde traditioneller, einfacher Musik. Mehr aber auch nicht, 42 Minuten dauert der Spuk und am Ende fragt man sich, ob Regen wirklich so eintönig ist, dass die Abwechslung beinahe komplett auf der Strecke bleibt. Vielleicht nimmt RAVENTALE beim nächsten Mal noch Hagel, Schnee oder wenigstens etwas Nebel hinzu.

Author: Jan Müller
Review
Iye Zine
8.3/10
10.11.2015

La one man band ucraina Raventale è in pista ormai da circa un decennio e gli appassionati di black metal più attenti avranno imparato a conoscerla tramite un discografia ricca sia per quantità che per qualità.

Dark Substance of Dharma è il settimo full length, infatti, per Astaroth Merc, e rappresenta un passo fondamentale per la sua creatura musicale, trattandosi di un’opera priva di punti deboli o sbavature.
Il lavoro (che come si può intuite dal titolo verte su tematiche connesse alle religioni orientali) rappresenta la migliore istantanea di ciò che può definirsi black metal atmosferico: la componente estrema e quella melodica viaggiano in perfetta simbiosi trovando un equilibrio in grado di soddisfare un’ampia gamma di appassionati.
Dopo la canonica intro, i brani si susseguono denotando fin da subito quell’intensità che si rivelerà tratto comune dell’intero album: dalla magnifica Destroying the Seeds of Karma, con il suo enorme potenziale evocativo, fino alla conclusiva Last Moon Fermata, dove emerge un chitarrismo tipicamente heavy, non ci sono momento di stanca o riempitivi, con la punta più alta rinvenibile nel black doom di I Am the Black Tara, impreziosita da un finale malinconico e solenne allo stesso tempo.
Per chi già conosceva il passato dei Raventale, Dark Substance of Dharma è la conferma d’aver puntato sul cavallo giusto già in tempi non sospetti, mentre chi ne ignorava fino ad oggi l’esistenza ha modo e tempo di rimediare, partendo magari proprio da questo ottimo lavoro per poi ripercorrere a ritroso la brillante discografia della one man band ucraina.

Author: Stefano Cavanna
Review
Grind On The Road
6.5/10

Negli ultimi anni, complice qualche geniale band che ha fatto scuola, l’implementazione di elementi etnici o tribali ha contaminato in larga scala il metal del ventunesimo secolo. Sorprende però questo ultimo lascito da parte degli ucraini Raventale, che pur rifacendosi pesantemente ad una sorta di esotismo basato sulle tradizioni religiose indiane e tibetane (argomento lungo e complesso da trattare nella breve durata di un disco) non svende la propria anima alla mercé di mode imperanti oggigiorno, mantenendo fede alla propria proposta ed uscendo così da un gregge sempre più vasto.

Trattare dell’ordine cosmico del Dharma e dei relativi principi di esistenza e percezione del mondo non è cosa da tutti i giorni per una band, metal o non metal che sia. Sebbene l’argomento per la maggior parte dei lettori potrà sembrare ostico la musica degli ucraini viaggia però in tutt’altra direzione. Trattasi infatti di un atmospheric black metal dalle vaghe tinte melodiche e gotiche che varia sufficientemente durante l’ascolto. Vero è anche che le uniche tracce che si fanno ricordare particolarmente (le altre tendono ad adagiarsi su toni meno ispirati) sono la seconda “Destroying The Seeds Of Karma”, che nonostante i suoi otto minuti di durata non appesantisce l’ascoltatore grazie ad un gradevole bilanciarsi dei vari elementi, e la conclusiva “Last Moon Fermata”, con quel suo tono quasi poetico e che ricorda in certi punti il migliore gothic black a tratti epico che fu, con tanto di azzeccato assolo in coda; il pezzo è sicuramente il vero gioiellino di questo disco.

Dark Substance of Dharma non è un disco epocale e non desidera aggiungere niente a quanto già fatto da diverse band negli ultimi vent’anni; tuttavia, i Raventale con questo disco riescono a regalarci musica di qualità con una sufficiente dose di originalità. Se vi mancano i cari anni ’90 in cui il black melodico ancora aveva senso d’esistere, l’ascolto è consigliato. Per noi i Raventale passano dignitosamente il traguardo del 2015.

Author: Orla
Review
Hellride Music
07.11.2015

Astaroth Marc is the singular band member of bleak, Ukranian blackened doom metal project Raventale. The man has built quite a resume since 2005 with seven full-length releases thus far and Dark Substance of Dharma being the latest. One man bands can go either way…more often than not they can go down a pretty poor lo-fi path that is neither exciting nor engaging to the listener. There are exceptions, but the odds for success are like 70/30 at best. Raventale is certainly above-average with a solid full band sound/production. It’s got some good stuff and interesting song-compositions to keep it moving along at a deliberate clip. So, let’s dive in for the examination on the doctor’s table.

Truth be told, I’m getting pretty tired of “atmospheric” drone intros. Give me some damn music, man! Opener “Intra-Mantra” is actually pretty cool in a Goblin sort of sense. Whispered voices, demonic synths, chiming noise and all around weirdness slowly draws out into a scathing wall of guitar noise that seamlessly pours into “Destroying the Seeds of Karma.” Plodding, pounding percussion is backed by autumnal keyboards as a dirty, sickly distorted riff spreads plague and famine. The drums aren’t too digitized and fake sounding…I think they’re actually real as the double-bass isn’t too rubbery and the snare actually has some warmth. If it’s forgery then Astaroth did a good job of fooling me. Marc’s vocals are raw rubbed screams that settle into a crusty mid-range that nestles tightly inside the music…not too high, not too low and just right for the frozen forest riff dirge presented. Guitar chords are left to ring with chilling ambience and there are some solid tempo fluxes throughout. Astaroth even makes room for a few chanting/spoken vocal passages that give the performance some variety. While this isn’t my go to style of heavy, I didn’t find myself checking my watch every thirty seconds praying that the song would just fuckin’ end. Fans of Skepticism, early Katatonia, Morgion, Dissection, Darkthrone and Agalloch might enjoy it. It’s not quite up to the bar set by the aforementioned luminaries of the genre, though it’s far from third-tier imitation. I was bangin' my head.

The title track has me changing my mind about the drums. Yeah, that’s some programming I’m thinking as there is a certain awkwardness to the speedier, vaulting blast beats. Synths hum ominously in the background without being too orchestrated. I’m not a fan of that cheese-melted, Dimmu Burger King stuff…and this isn’t overbearing, rather mildly grating at its worst. The faster riffs are sloppy and undefined, so it’s a good business decision that Astaroth mires the tempo down in thicker, well-anchored riffage of a doom-burnt, blackened thrash persuasion. In fact the riffing is all around forceful once the keyboards drop off of the flat face of the Earth. There’s a nagging groove implanted like a neuro-bomb to the base of the brainstem with a semantic filth-riff grinding away at the sanity relentlessly. Raventale should definitely stick to the uglier, slower nastiness because it’s way more his forte than the blast-y runs. “Kali’s Hunger” ushers in on the hinds of a desperate, ice-choked blast/double-bass curmudgeon that remains fairly frenetic throughout. It's one of the album’s shortest tracks and a general blur of space n’ time that never really blows that key money shot to the memory banks. The oddly titled “Red Laugh’s Walking” is a semi-upbeat, mid-tempo trotter with merry synths colliding into grimy, mud slick riffs and scathing vocal screams. It whips into a few sturdy double-bass frenzies, changing ideologies several times across its relatively short 4:33 running time. Pinched, angular guitar melodies break up the constant pulverization dealt by the ethereally blasting “I am the Black Tara,” with splashes of synth elevating the faster sections, before crumbling Celtic Frostian riffage sinks its fangs into a bloody raw chunk of groove meat. When things borderline on becoming too symphonic for my taste, Astaroth does bring the heft back around via a rotten oak riff or a flickering light of ambience that yields welcome change. A rare melodic guitar lead rooted in sultry Swedish/Finnish beauty rounds this one off right, making for the best track on the album. Closer “Last Moon Fermata” enters on a dusky, elegant piano arrangement while feral guitar noise saws its way into the fray. Synths play the biggest role at first but a venomous bout of Slayer/Darkthrone murder riffing quickly mutates the piece into something darker and drearier. A chunky, staccato doom descent rips into some daunting power chords with the music reverting to synthesized funeral deviance thereafter.

I enjoyed the time I spent with Raventale’s Dark Substance of Dharma. The foundation is strong and there is some surprising filthy inventiveness going on with the riffs, structures and vocals. I’m not sure I would run out and buy it because I only purchase a few records of this style and have most of the one’s I consider must haves already in my collection...yet I'd probably grab it if I saw it for the right price. Dedicated black metal fans who dig doom, thrash and slight orchestral grandeur should give this a shot. It’s really a pretty solid release from front to back.

Author: Jay Snyder
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