Artist: The Raven Autarchy
Album: The Obscene Deliverance
The sky is blacked out by thousands upon thousands of ravenous, bloodthirsty birds. With feathers as silky and black as midnight, they swoop and weave together to a point where it becomes impossible to tell where one ends and another begins. Before you get a chance to seek cover, they dive, picking flesh from your body and stealing scalp from your head mercilessly. This is the ruthless, ravaging assault of the Spanish shredders, The Raven Autarchy. This insanely talented duet are destructive from beginning to end, and their sophomore full length release, The Obscene Deliverance is picture perfect proof. With riffs and grooves that would make Within the Ruins’ riff-smiths do a double take, and brilliant songwriting to serve as a scaffold for intelligent lyrics and dynamic vocals, The Raven Autarchy will peck, pick and prey upon the listener until sun bleaches bones are all that’s left.
If you’re familiar with The Raven Autarchy, then you should know that they are no strangers to sinister, super-technical instrumentation. However, where Kaonashi was a shred-studded display of furiously fretted mayhem, it lacked structure—structure made up for on The Obscene Deliverance. Avi, the duo’s lyricist and resident riff master, is back with a much refined and insanely ruthless instrumental onslaught that will bring the listener to their knees in seconds. Built upon bold, flashy percussion and low, groovy bass work, The Raven Autarchy’s main attraction is Avi’s awe-inspiring guitar skills. Heavily influenced by Within the Ruins’ ravaging, catchy riffs and grimy, visceral grooves, Avi’s fretwork is reminiscent of Creatures’ on crack—knowing exactly when to light his fretboard ablaze with insane, mind-melting technicality and when to stick with fat-faced yet fiercely low chugs, Avi’s newfound ability to structure his songs with careful brilliance is second only to his insane musical ability. “Engineered Consciousness” is perhaps the best example of Avi’s songwriting on all of The Obscene Deliverance, but truth be told, his musicianship is marvelously consistent, providing a thorough and engaging experience that is neither too-technical nor boring and half-hearted.
But what about the vocals? Where many brilliantly talented musicians have failed, The Raven Autachy continue to soar, as, propelled by Avi’s incredible instrumentation and creative lyricism, Nelson Rebelo is a raw, ruthless savage. From the very beginning of “A Dead Cherry Blossom Tree,” Rebelo is a dynamo, ranging from shrill, sharp screams to grisly low bellows. Just as Avi’s musicianship is marvelously varied, Rebelo’s range is the very definition of diverse. “The Whistleblower” sees him favoring raspy, raw bellows while “Kyomu” is a cutthroat example of his extreme highs and mainstay mid-range shouts. Rebelo wraps his vocals around even Avi’s most daunting displays of fretwork, letting every syllable ring loud and hit hard, digging into the listener’s head like a raven’s razor sharp claws, digging into their mind and murdering their sanity.
The Raven Autarchy’s most recent release is an insane improvement over Kaonashi in nearly every way. The Obscene Deliverance is a display in painstakingly written punishing technical deathcore. Whether it’s the straightforward aggression in Rebelo’s ruthless vocals on “A Dead Cherry Blossom Tree,” or Avi’s insane instrumentation on “The Riddle,” every second of the band’s sophomore album gives the listener something to enjoy. On tracks where Rebelo is present, he dominates—letting Avi’s fretwork shine through only where it is truly show stealing. On tracks where Rebelo is absent, Avi’s fingers tell the story on their own, engrossing the listener with intense instrumentation that hasn’t been done so well since Within the Ruins’ “Ataxia” series. A whirlwind of wickedly sharp talons, brain-devouring beaks and pitch black feathers, The Raven Autarchy leave no survivors, as The Obscene Deliverance is a must-listen album for heavy music enthusiasts of any sort: technically inclined or otherwise.
For Fans Of: Within the Ruins, Shores of Elysium, Nexilva
By: Connor Welsh