Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, September 13, 2021

Count Raven - The Sixth Storm


For the select few, Count Raven stand among a select group of truly excellent bands who helped to form what doom metal would become. They represent an often forgotten side of the genre, alongside fellow Scandinavian masters, Reverend Bizarre and Lord Vicar. Before this album it had been 12 years since we'd gotten a full length from the band, 11 since we had heard any new material. Before that the last album was in 1996... so getting new Count Raven music is a pretty special occasion, and one that should be treated with the appropriate pomp and circumstance.

Fortunately as it all shakes out, it seems to me at least that this record sits nicely alongside many of the bands other offerings. It's a crushing record that pays attention to all the tropes of the genre but resoundingly proves for the umpteenth time that Count Raven are a one of a kind force who can't help but to impress with larger than life sounds and an overarching vision that leaves listeners in awe. This is heavy rock done right, crushingly loud and prone to epic choruses. Letting yourself get immersed in the expansive magic of this band with all that it brings to the table is a delight that keeps on giving as you go ever deeper. 

So no - there are no real surprises on this record, but that doesn't mean it can't be damn good. The band has aged remarkably well and all the classic Count Raven tropes are back. Dan Fondelius has once more conjured up magic and proven that his deep understanding of trad doom is basically unmatched. The Sabbath worship is palatable and the desire to drag us all to the depths of hell has never been more clear. This is doom metal done right from the darkest depths to the weirdly danceable. Let yourself get lost in it.

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