Raven Said – Chants To Dissolve

Posted: 11 December 2022 in Singles and EPs
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Christopher Nosnibor

Having showcased ‘Immersive Waves’ recently, my interest was sufficiently piqued to explore the rest of the EP from gothic/occult wave duo Raven Said. With ‘Immersive Waves’ being the last of the EP’s five tracks, it feels like I’m coming to it backwards first, although I so appreciate there is a flaw to this logic.

‘A Flowering and a Flattering’ drills in with some expansive synths wafting over a hi-NRG dance beat and thumping bass, and it falsely points toward pumping trance before going cinematic, darkwave, and then the arrival of the vocals – a heavily-processed, growling monotone baritone that’s quintessential goth – changes the tone again, and with fractal guitars chiming against a pulsing bass and stomping mechanised beat we’re in the domain of 90s second wave goth as characterised by the likes of Suspiria and the Nightbreed label’s output.

It’s the chorus-heavy guitars and theatrical vocals that dominate the broodingly dramatic ‘Transparent Sorrow’ that draws all of its cues from The Sisters of Mercy circa 85 and Ghostdance, Skeletal Family, et al, and dark grooves are the leading element of the murky ‘Except My Love for Her’. The drum machine may be backed off, but the crisp snare echoes into the sonic fog while the bass booms. The rasping vocal sounds more like a menacing threat than pleading, before the frenetic ‘Sredni Vashtar’ goes full electro and sounds like The Sisterhood’s ‘Jihad’ played at 45 instead of 33, or a KMFDM outtake. This level of electronic hyperactivity is perhaps the least successful song on the EP, and it’s not aided by the mix, with the vocals up and the drums and synths backed off. It feels somehow cheap.

But then ‘Immersive Waves’ draws together all of the best elements of the preceding tracks into a rippling mix of vintage goth and electropop steeped in theatre and atmosphere and it’s magnificently moody and leaves you wanting more, and more….

AA

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