originally written by Erik Thomas
For those that don’t know, The Ruins of Beverast is a one man black/doom metal band consisting of former Nagelfar (the German one) drummer Alexander Von Meilenwald. And with his third album, he has released an album that would have easily been a top 3 release of 2009 had I found it for cheaper/earlier.
As with 2006’s Rain Upon the Impure, the album is a long (80 minute) listen, but incredibly worth every single second of its depressive, but still majestic art. With a fuller production and even more use of clean chants and synths,Foulest Semen is even more regal than its predecessor, with even more lavish, hypnotic plodding and moistened musical depravity that’s rife with shimmering, yet despondent brilliance.
The album starts with the solemn hymnal chant of the 10 minute “I Raised this Stone as a Ghastly Memorial”- a start that might perturb some more elite black metal fans with its plodding pace, but things get nastier when some cavernous growls and shrieks finally kick in to the languid rumble. After the short chant of “Alu” (there’s three of these small interludes throughout), the album really starts to pick up with the brilliant “God’s Ensanguined Bestiaries” which is four minutes of blistering black/death metal followed by a simply numbingly good and rending mid paced rumble that’s on par with any of the top doom/death acts. And when I mean doom, I don’t mean the usual one man, basement quality blackened doom that’s reedy and thin, but a sonorous, melancholy that’s dripping with depressive moods, not just psychotic shrieks and moans. Just listen to the twelve minute wrist opener “Mount Sinai Moloch” and the furtive shifts of “Kain’s Countenance Fell” (even with its black injection)– they are more My Dying Bride and Pantheist than it is Leviathan or Xasthur.
The album’s 1:19 runtime is simply enthralling from note to note. Even the challenging, long songs like “The Restless Mills” (especially the last few minutes) and 15-minute “Arcane Pharmakon Messiah” (with a surprisingly sturdy groove about halfway in) command your attention, especially with their dramatic orchestration (notably horns a war drums), and willful descent into the depths of droning, regal despair while still keeping things black and menacing )“Blood Vaults (II – Our Despots Cleanse the Levant)”).
The Ruins of Beverast is one of those rare acts that transcends music and becomes true art and with his third album, has cemented his status in the elite category of artists. It’s a shame his albums are so hard to find at a decent price outside of Europe.