The Ruins of Beverast is a one man death/doom band created by Alexander von Meilenwald. The instruments and vocals are credited to Meilenwald in all of The Ruins of Beverast albums, though it seems that he mostly played drums in his other bands. This is the first time I have listened to anything by Meilenwald, and I am quite impressed. His other bands seem to lean more towards black metal, but the latest release Exuvia is mostly death/doom and maybe only tinged in black metal considering the overall hypnotic atmosphere.
Exuvia is an overwhelming journey from start to finish, full of patient songwriting and careful layering of sounds. The majority of the album is a sweeping and trance like atmosphere with Native American chants and howling wolves popping up now and again. The Ruins of Beverast seem to appreciate the skilled use of repetition in the song structures. This repetition plays a large role in building the dark trances throughout the album. Another interesting result of this repetition is the war like and ritualistic moods it evokes. The Native American imagery on the album cover starts to make sense as you listen, and the chants actually fit quite nicely. This was a pleasant surprise, as I was a little skeptical upon glancing at the artwork before listening. The music is dead serious and the cartoonish artwork doesn’t seem to do it justice.
The songs are thoughtfully constructed behemoths with the shortest running time being the closer “Takitum Tootem!”, coming in at just under eight minutes. The strict, though impressive drums are the driving force behind the compositions. The guitars sway between plodding and uncomfortable melodies layered with effects, but when needed the riffs can get real heavy. I mean real heavy… Just listen to the second half of “The Pythia’s Pale Wolves”.
At times the guitar and even the vocals reminds me of Evoken if they played a little faster, so maybe a band like VRTRA or Below The Sun is a better comparison. However, The Ruins of Beverast definitely have a unique style of death/doom and I thoroughly enjoyed the introspective, trancelike journeys that I embarked upon every time I listened to Exuvia. (Bleak Bill)
(6 Tracks 67:38)