Sometimes a local band will come along and blow you away with the music they play. Living around Charlotte, NC I’m a lucky guy because the metal scene is pretty incredible. I have been lucky to see some amazing bands and meet some super folks thanks to the scene. It makes me sad when a band I like falls apart, but sometimes when that happens, out of those ashes, something even more breathtaking happens. When I heard that Spine Extraction was more or less done I hated to hear it. Though I wouldn’t say they were my favorite local band, I did enjoy seeing them live and meeting some of the guys. But just as I said above, coming from that band is the group Rapheumet’s Well, and I have to say that quite easily, I like this band even more.
Symphonic black metal is a genre I’m just now getting into. Thanks to bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and Septicflesh (and great friends for pointing me in that direction) I have found that there is something about this style that has a strong appeal for me. The two I mentioned are, from my estimation at least, two of the best of the genre, but with the debut release of Rapheumet’s Well s/t album, they could quickly join their ranks. Interspersing lush orchestral bits into some brutally heavy yet beautifully melodic music, this band has managed to create one of my absolute favorite albums of the year so far. For a first outing, they have certainly created something fairly spectacular.
Songs like “At the Mantle of the Gods,” “Netherworlds Exile,” “Lair of Eishtar,” and the two-parter “Betrayer” they have created a sprawling sci-fi conceptual piece that has truly blown my mind. The guitar work of Ralph Barnette and Daniel Presnell alone is worth owning the CD, but adding to that the drums of Joshua Ward and the bass of Jon Finney, the brutal growls of Tripp King and the clean vocals of Ward, along with some pretty stellar symphonic pieces they create a sound that is evil and beautiful at the same time.
There is no doubt in my mind that once people get their hands on this album, they will feel exactly as I do. Any fan of symphonic black metal needs this album. If this is what they’re capable of on their first release there is no telling what the future holds for Rapheumet’s Well. Do yourself a favor and get this album now. I don’t think you will be disappointed! ****1/2
Review by Chris Martin
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