The Ruins Of Beverast – Foulest Semen Of A Sheltered Elite - 2-LP
Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite. Well… what is there to say? I don’t really know that I’ve ever heard a more off-putting album title. I don’t really know why it was thought to be a good name for such an incredible album, but I suppose some things are best kept as secrets. I guess the absolutely repulsive nature of the title will drive away those with too weak a stomach to handle the music within. Consider it a warning.
The Ruins of Beverast is the brainchild of Alexander von Meilenwald, who previously drummed for German black metal act Nagelfar (not to be confused with the Swedish group Naglfar) and has worked as a session musician. TROB‘s music could, too, be described as black metal, but it goes far beyond what likely first pops into your head. Consider it more a type of blackened death/doom with sludge influences.
Meilenwald works more like a painter with his work than anyone I have ever heard. Everything is made according to his design and execution, custom tailoring all aspects, from instruments to vocals to production. Incredibly, no one particular thing that he does appears to be what he is best at. His guitar playing, writing, drumming, vocal work, engineering, and everything else you hear is done at exactly the same soaring level of capability. This allows for an album that has virtually no holes, no points where you think “well, if he had done this, it would be better” or “I really can’t understand what was going through his mind there.”
With that said, certain aspects of TROB‘s delivery are more audible than others. To start, the dirty, “buried alive” vibe of the production creates a claustrophobic yet airy atmosphere. The instruments sound like they are emerging from entombment, while Meilenwald’s layered chants and thunderous growls reverberate as though they were recorded in St. Peter’s Cathedral. This forms an interesting dichotomy that I cannot recall hearing anywhere else. Outside of the production of the record, the musicianship hits right on the bulls-eye. Meilenwald’s technical ability is never in question, and his sense of give-and-take seems embedded in his cerebellum.
Black metal is one of the farthest-reaching genres in all of metal. It manages to put in question many of the ideas of what we think of as metal. The Ruins of Beverast is currently doing this more than anyone else. Could this sound be the future?
- black virgin vinyl.
- silver & bronze printed sleeve.
- new edition with new layout in a non-gatefold jacket cover.