A certain faction of the black metal fandom prefers raw, unpolished music, because it sounds more true or authentic to them. Ruach Raah, from Portugal, has arrived to add its spin on metal music to the genre’s already immense ranks. Hate Fanaticism, the band’s ten song album, is a mid-paced, simpler grind through bleaker, lo-fi black metal, hinting at just a touch of punk.
The mid-tempo songs are basic. They’re not layered much in terms of overlapping ideas, excess instruments, subtle segues, and the like. What’s most audible is a band exploring the birthplace or foundations of more extreme metal: a treble-heavy budget mix, heavily distorted guitars, a bass guitar that buries itself underneath the guitarist’s riffs, and drums that lean so heavily on using the crash cymbal that a hearing loss warning might be prudent for the disc. The bass drum hasn’t fallen victim to ‘clickiness’, which is nice. The vocals seem to be passed through a distortion filter, or something that’s producing some ‘breakup’ noise.
The term for this kind of music in the rock world is garage rock: material from emerging bands, usually recorded or captured in more economical surroundings – a basement, a bedroom, a small live show. This recording has those vibes all over it. It’s basic-issue black metal at it’s heart, but it makes attempts at melodic delivery and a thrash approach, which sets it apart from some of the genre’s contemporaries. The songs have nicely played, raw ideas, with good forward motion, but they lack a convincing polish to tell a listener that this is a band with staying power. As stated before, a certain subset of black metal fans will love the raw edges and basement ethos Ruach Raah puts on show. If you like your black metal with a ‘demo’ or underground feel, and a mean and abrasive delivery, pick this up.
Guided By Death, Dri
In Hell Baptized
Kiss the Ring of the
Emperor of the Black
Black Plague of Sata
(errors in song titles shown are as-received…)