I’ve been a fan of Sweden’s Count Raven for a number of years, but until “Mammon’s War” I was never hardcore about them. I liked their older material, but had assumed by the 13 year gap between albums that there wouldn’t ever be new music. Well, as is so frequently the case, I was wrong.
I have to admit that I was pretty excited when I heard a new album was imminent. As has been my pattern of late, I snagged it from iTunes as soon as it went on sale (I don’t know how it works elsewhere, but new “albums” are released here on Tuesdays, and I’ve found I can get them from iTunes around 11 PM Monday night, so I tend to snag them before I go to bed Monday night. It makes for a weekly Christmas-morning feeling of knowing I’ve got something new waiting for me in the morning lol.) Sometimes I make impulsive iTunes purchases from my phone because it is just so easy, and end up regretting it because the album isn’t very good. That was not the case this time.
Count Raven fall into the doom metal category quite nicely and there is no doubt of their deep Black Sabbath worship. In fact singer Dan Fondelius sounds like a dead ringer for Ozzy; it’s almost kind of creepy if it weren’t for the fact that this music is just so chuck full of doomy goodness. It’s heavy, plodding and epic and along with Germany’s Dawn of Winter has put me on a months-long doom metal kick like I haven’t been on in years.
I love the production on this album. While the earlier albums were listenable, the poor production on them did detract somewhat from the listening experience. Much like an old Misfits album, I liked the songs because they were good, but the production left much to be desired. You can say that it adds character or gives a “raw” feeling to the music if you like, but I like a good production, and this album is much better produced than the earlier material.
I hope we don’t have to wait another 13 years for a new Count Raven album.