Review | RAVENOIR Indulges Blackened Depths With-In the Womb of Sin

            Portents have been fulfilled by an obscenity slithering from a wretched vulva, and its birth heralds the mighty return of RAVENOIR, who takes flight with the wingspan to cast tormenting shadows upon those of a so-called “righteous” path. Since igniting The Darkest Flame of Eternal Blasphemy last year, these Czechian heretics have abstained only from inactivity, and now the forbidden fruits of their ongoing efforts have been reaped In the Womb of Sin. This new opus is drenched in the sacrilege of its predecessor, and it also delves further into the raven’s lore with a variety of haunting textures, which combine with the heavy elements to wage an infernal attack. These immense atmospheric and compositional details propel RAVENOIR through the heights of endless night, where purity is denounced in favor of a fleshy celebration, and In the Womb of Sin boasts a glorious descent into the pits of depravity.

            Ominous and mist-shrouded perversions approach on “The Ecstasy of Desecration,” and its grandiose procession unveils the wrath to launch successive acts of indulgence. Cavernous points echo the apparency of many dark shades, which drift into a bleak and dissonant core on the title track, and a steady pulse carries that tone while deviating to reflect other influences in the riffing advance. Its currents interact favorably with soloing to spawn a notable melodic development, and this skillful harmonizing effect returns when fretted patterns exert force alongside a crushing menace. Fury is unleashed on “The Cold of Casemates,” with its percussive intensity matched by a razor-edged riff attack, and noted details are encountered amid the havoc before it invades “The Scene Obscene.” Heavy chugged and tremolo rhythms soon take hold, and they merge with ambience to evoke haunting scenes through a different variety of harmony. A similar manifestation issues from the disturbed presence and warped string entrancement of certain riffs on “Stigma Infernoir,” where an emerging aura culminates with sinister chord impositions, and these areas highlight a perfectly crisp yet raw balance in the guitar distortion. “Sinfonia of Vice” is strategically placed between those preceding tracks, and it strengthens their possession with its organ keys and various orchestral elements.

            Atmospheric enchantments persist in sections of clean-stringed desolation on “The Infinity of Temptation,” which surround the entranced notes creeping from its vast distorted plane, and traces of a dark ballad surface as lead melodies soar across the euphoric pace. That elegance is contrasted with heavy swaggering progressions on “Mother Storm,” where the aural presence also lingers during quickened passages, and the tempest is enhanced by thundering elements before a solo drives its strike. Other samples aim to provoke on “Excommunication,” and they suit its raw tremolo and blast-beaten expanse, along with the areas where a slow arpeggiated crunch and glaring adjuncts reconjure the ambience. The lord’s prayer is reduced to mockery before reaching a definitive nocturnal exaltation on “Lunar Choir,” with its acoustic and bass lines accompanying children of the night, and a sinister rhythmic stride commences while pursuing malevolence in noted courses. Alesh AD has matched the orchestrated dynamism with his vocal delivery throughout, but here especially he projects a visceral force that magnifies the shadowy eminence, and its pact is sealed in the majestic gloom of leadwork until crossing to the “Labyrinth of Shadows.” This contemplative instrumental reinforces a collective spellbinding impact, and its pulse endures to bring the menacing nightside appeal into eternity.

            A poetic embrace parallels the infinite splendor of these realms, and a literal “Welcome” initiates their shadowy immersion on “The Ecstasy of Desecration.” Its gates lead “To the hissing wound of eternity” and “The glorious bath of fornication,” with a blasphemous zeal affirmed in “Let the heavens burn in an orgasm of a thousand storms,” and a prevailing dark myriad causes the heavens to be “So black and so leaden” on the title track that “From the arteries of angels blood rains.” Its “Twilight spreads a dark veil of the night” while “Bells from the abyss toll,” and this “Wet womb of darkness gives birth to unholy sin” on “The Scene Obscene.” Glimpses into “The hypnotic eye of the inferno” follow with observations of how “The roots of temptation grow into flowers of delight,” along with a “Despised blessed chastity” deemed to be the “Abscess and sepsis of Heaven,” and gloom appears within the devilry as “Tears flow slowly down the bodies of entangled serpents.”

            These perceptions are related to a recurrent natural force when “The sky darkens and soon begins to cry” on “Mother Storm,” and a “Goddess of day and goddess of night” answers those “Praying for aqua” alongside an “Insane trinity of heavy rain,” where “Tornado meets the cyclone and hurricane.” They send “All fleeing in fright” while showing “No compromise,” and the course leads to a piece of grim Moravian history on “The Cold of Casemates.” Its “Magnificent fortress above Brünn” possibly refers to the Špilberk Castle, and dungeons come to life as “Dripping water from the vaults becomes a nightmare” and “Spiders with worms, sickening rats” crawl amid the “Unending madness in the labyrinth.” Its prisoners are “Confined forever” before an “Immortal” and “Dissolute” soul yearns to be led “Down the paths of lust” on “The Infinity of Temptation,” and venturing “Into the entrails” of this womb reveals an infernal being “Disgorged from the snake pit” and “Baptized by unholy fire” on “Stigma Infernoir.” It achieves “Desecration of the bloodied sky” as “The dark angel spreads his mangy wings,” and “Decanonization… Once and for all” is declared with views of how “The moon obscures the sun” and a recognition that “The seed will beget tomorrow.”

            Those affirmations are echoed from the “Dimness” and “Claustrophobic cabinet” of “Excommunication,” which addresses a “Blind hope of salvation” and “Fear of eternal damnation” that “Even a priest can betray,” and contempt toward religious hypocrisy is expressed in the “Honor swallowed by disgrace” while exposing “A scandal on the horizon” from its “Sick conglomerate.” The moon returns as a “Splendid magic sphere” on “Lunar Choir,” and nocturnal wonders are captured in “Tones with no words” from a “Jackal’s high alto” and the “Raw tenor of the wolves.” These lycanthropic forms leave their mark by “Writing a requiem,” and it acts as “A harmony for the light” that seals the appeal of darker realms. These lyrics are laden with imagery and energies parallel to the inherent compositional strength, and their religious opposition advances a blackened radiance alongside the raven’s spirit.

            In the Womb of Sin forges ahead with the distinct breed of extremity captured on last year’s debut, and it exemplifies RAVENOIR’s capacity for realizing dark visions, with formulas penetrating even deeper into the blackest nether realms. An enchanting atmospheric quality permeates the orchestrations as they progress like a theatrical production, and the sound continues to satisfy with its raw and heavy amalgam. Sinister influences prevail across the hymns while each possesses a distinct spirit, and their variations of sharpened brutality and grand melodic finesse strike with vehement potency. RAVENOIR expresses an insatiable hunger through this second consecutive release, which will easily transfer to the listener’s yearning for future impieties, but until that full moon arrives, the temptation pursued by In the Womb of Sin ultimately seizes a lasting gratification.

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