Ravenman is the recent release from Mike Lambeth. The artist mentions: “The Ravenman album sounds dark & heavy with some metal & rock influences & is gothic in lyrical nature. Gothic metal.” Lambeth mentions some of influences like Black Sabbath, Therion, Theatre of Tragedy and NIN. I definitely picked up on Black Sabbath right away and in particular a ’70s metal vibe.
This is a very long album which is one hour and eleven minutes long. It’s intense and required a couple of sittings to get through completely but there are some pleasures along the way. The first song “Serpent Rising” was a solid song. There’s some great riffs here including some parts which I wasn’t expecting which felt like post-rock and others that felt like something Frank Zappa might come up with.
Black Sabbath can sometimes come off a bit humorous and that was some of what I was feeling on “The High Priestess” and lots of other songs. It’s very mythological and a cartoonish and the lyrics felt somewhere between Spinal Tap and Black Sabbath which is perfectly fine.
I think that’s why I appreciated this album is because it was constantly on the line of taking itself too seriously like countless other metal acts that read one too many fantasy novels. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and many more used these themes in their music.
As the album progresses I thought the songs were fairly consistent. I did have some favorites like “Forest Styx,” “My Tempest” and the closer “Death, Magic & Rebirth.” There are even some excerpts which sound like they are from a play about lords, mages, kings and well you get it.
If you’re a fan of fantasy based metal then you should love this. I don’t have much doubt about that.
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