"This is a good achievement for just two people"
by Robyn Lees, Writer & EditorWe all know that ravens are characteristically portrayed as hunters of prey that tend to play main roles in horror movies. I would say that, to some extent, this is true of The Unkindness of Ravens; they go straight for the kill with this album whilst stirring up some cinematic tracks.
Personally, I am not always a huge fan of female vocals particularly if they are accompanying a piece of heavier-inclined backing music so I was a little sceptical at first. However, these vocals mostly go well with the mesmeric tunes and electro style that is created from the beginning. I wasn't 100% bought on the scream toward the end of "Viper" but the track sounds quite sinister and is a good start for the album.
I was a little uncertain on the start of "Virus" but, as you get into it, it's not too bad. It's quite a dark track but in a melodic sort of way so it's not as noticeable from the off however, the vocals don't seem to go as well with this track as the previous; this might possibly be due to the fact that they blend a little too well with the music and could benefit from being a little more distinguished. I'm not a massive fan of this track but it's in keeping with the style of the album.
"Last Call For The River" is quite cinematic from the beginning of the track and somehow seems to emit an air of danger. The vocals are mesmerizingly good as they combine with the music to set the scene of techno-grunge. As well as being cinematic, this track is quite eerie but in a good way; it conjures up images of a spooky scene in a horror movie.
The next two tracks I found a little difficult to comment on. I was not a huge fan of "Prototype", I think that this is due to the beat which I personally do not find that appealing. The vocals seem a little sweet to go with the style.
I quite enjoyed the heavier style in "You Should Know By Now" which is as enthralling as it is dark and seems to merge more of the rock style with electro which is a good contrast from the previous tracks, until the vocals kick in.
Now I loved the music in "Das Gift" even though the first image that came into mind for me was that of the PlayStation One game "Casper" which is a childhood favourite of mine. This is a very strong track; easy on the ear and somehow peaceful. It is not too creepy like some of the other tracks and I would hail this as one of the best tracks on the album.
I did notice that the starting beat of "The Spaces In Between" is quite similar to that of "Das Gift" until the guitar kicked in which was a little perplexing as I thought I had just played the same track again at first. This is still quite a strong track nonetheless and the inspiration taken from the previous track has worked to its advantage.
"White Road" does seem a little slower than some of the other tracks but it suits the vocals well and can provide a more successful starting point than some of the other tracks can. I think that the style of the vocals go very well with this style of track than some of the others. The one part of this track that I do not like is the scream; it is fairly weak and does not go well at all.
The finale for this album, "Yours Forever But Not To Hold" is a good track to end on; it finishes the album in a similar way in which it started but stronger. The music in this is quite strong and goes well with vocals that continue to create a chilled out yet eerie atmosphere. It has a great entrancing sound that leaves a lasting impression.
Overall, this album is quite hypnotic and, most of the time, combines good vocals with compelling music to create a cinematic air. The majority of the album is not necessarily something that I would chose to casually listen to but I can see the appeal in it for those who would. I would say that the album gets stronger as it progresses and finishes on 3 of its best tracks. Although the opening beats of a few tracks do seem to be very similar until other elements kick in, which is a downside, I think that this is a good achievement for just two people.
You can find out more about The Unkindness of Ravens on their Official website at www.theunkindnessofravens.com.
Main Photo by David Llewellyn Griffiths