Tuesday 27 April 2021

Ravin - II

Labels: Sad Panda Records/Unlock Yourself Records/Winter Sea Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: CD/Digital

Release Date: 13 Apr 2015


1. Ruines

2. Des Visages

3. Dansons

4. Stigmates

5. Colline

6. Engrais


8. (Des) Cendres

Things are slowly returning to normal here, just in time for the warmer weather. I had this review penned in for the weekend just gone but that didn't happen, obviously. This is the latest in my Zegema Beach Roster review series (of which I'm still behind on) and it features the second, and maybe last, release to have come from French screamo band Ravin. II was released on cd via UK label Sad Panda Records, CAN/US label Zegema Beach Records (if you're unfamiliar), and the Russian duo of Unlock Yourself Records and Winter Sea Records in 2015. It follows their debut album that was released a year earlier. Ravin has been compared to so many incredible screamo bands, there are just too many to mention.

The eight songs on II are not long ones, so this is isn’t going to be massively drawn out review. Album opener ‘Ruines’ projects a sound that’s unmistakably French, while borrowing from other European cousins too. It’s melodic, up-tempo and the multi-vocal approach is great. So far Ravin reminds me of bands like Who Needs Maps?, Child Meadow and probably some others too (if my brain could remember stuff!).

I have to say that this release isn’t as chaotic as I thought it would be, I was expecting breakneck emoviolence and instead Ravin’s take on screamo is more measured. ‘Des Visages’ is a testament to this with instrumentation that switches between both fast/heavy and more introspective. It’s also much better with the volume turned way up! Off-kilter hardcore has always been something that French bands do well and it’s no different here on ‘Dansons’, with that very approach mixing with metallic riffs, natural percussion and truly emotive screams that manage to grab your heart, retaining a vice-like grip for the rest of the release.

‘Stigmates’ returns to a pacier norm following the (I guess you could say) expansive ‘Dansons’. It’s over before you realise it yet even a mere sixty-five seconds of playing time can’t stop it from sounding full and alive.  The second half of II starts with ‘Colline’, which is a sub-thirty second blast of jarring feedback and cool as hell punk-laden screamo. It manages to encompass everything that’s great about the band’s music with impressive to-the-point precision. There’s something to ponder! 

There’s no time for that though, as ‘Engrais’ shatters the relative calm shortly afterwards and in doing so, goes for the jugular with tortured realism. That same realism is nestled within the atmospheric instrumentation of penultimate song ‘MCMXLV’ and at this point Ravin’s sound reminds me a lot more Japanese screamo. It’s the first time that thought has occurred to me, but it’s funny how the mind works right? The off-kilter chaos of album closer ‘(Des) Cendres’ is a fantastic way to end II and yet another reason to appreciate the music that Ravin has created. 

Hearing how a musical genre like this has grown and been re-imagined over the years, highlights the talent that exists underneath the surface. Ravin are another band that went too soon, yet left there own legacy.

You can stream and purchase the album digitally from Ravin's bandcamp page below:-

Ravin - https://www.facebook.com/ravinband

Physical copies can still be purchased from the links below:-

Ravin - https://ravin.bigcartel.com/

Zegema Beach Records - CAN/INTL - http://www.zegemabeachrecords.com/

Winter Sea Records - https://wintersearecords.bandcamp.com/

Unlock Yourself Records - https://www.facebook.com/unlockyourselfrecords

Zegema Beach Records - https://www.facebook.com/zegemabeachrecords

No comments:

Post a Comment