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It is as if nothing has really changed in Count Raven’s attitude since they came back to the Metal scene. Since 1996, the year when the Ravens released their fourth album, Messiah Of Confusion, no one has really heard from the Swedish Doom Metal band. However, they did come back around 2003 with their same ironic Ozzy Osbourne / Black Sabbath, 70’s Traditional doomish Heavy Metal approach. With this manner, they went forward and released their fifth, Mammons War. This album is no different than their other releases as these people, with their leader / Ozzy like iron vocalist, Dan “The Fodde”, stayed loyal to their prime influences that made them tick as before.
The coming of Mammons War (“Money War” from Hebrew) broke free a discussion about greed, injustice and unjust behavior. That behavior came straight from the destructive piece of slimy paper that, unfortunately, we cannot live without - Money. Count Raven, with all the desperation and solitude that their music create, were the perfect group to raise those hard issues.
The music on display, as before, is slow, depthy with a vintage look and rather simple to stomach (not that you will suffer from it of course). It seems that complexity, especially with those guys, wasn’t on their leading agenda and when thinking about it, wasn’t needed. The one thing that made their music lively abit was the use of keyboards to enhance the mood and the aching emotive solos. More than less, Count Raven made a good job for a comeback album and they even offered stuff to think about while wondering through their lyrics.
Mammons War brought the listener, beyond thoughts, a rather enjoyable tunes (even if some of them last till 10 min the most). The coming journey is back to the older albums of Black Sabbath like Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master Of Reality, Sabotage and the rest of the 70’s classics. Their magical resemblance to Sabbath (more on the riffage section which is good both electric and acoustic), both vocally and musically, created interest on tracks as “A Life Time”, “To Kill A Child”, “The Poltergeist”, “Scream”, “Increasing Deserts”, “The Entity”, and the crafty “Seven Days”.
However, with the interest there are a those tracks that are just a plain boredom. Track as the electronic like “Mammons War”, that was supposed to be the top headline of this one. It looks like as if Count Raven made a sort of a version to the famous “Planet Caravan”, well it did not work. Moreover, on the stretched tunes, nevertheless motivating, they have their share of “too long” effects and seem stuck. Another track the wasn’t inserted to the hit line was “Nashira”, which turned up quite ok because they still present good high altitude moments and a total Sabbath riffs that will remind some classics. Nevertheless, as good reminders as they are, it still too much of a copy like mix between Ozzy’s project of his mid 90’s release and old Sabbath. So where did the originality go?
With these few faults, you, the listeners, do not have to worry. Count Raven knows how to treat their fans and Mammons War is great welcome back party for true Doom lovers.
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- Lior “Steinmetal” Stein (May, 5th 2010)
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