Bands change their sound all the time. That’s fine. But when a band changes their sound, they will inevitably leave some fans behind because their new sound doesn’t appeal to those people anymore. Over the past few years, an exodus happened where a lot of bands that were classified as progressive deathcore, or the tongue-in-cheek label “sumeriancore” (due to having a bunch of pioneers of the sound, like Veil of Maya, Born of Osiris and After the Burial being signed to Sumerian Records, despite others like Within the Ruins not being so) moved on to a more “djentier” sound. Deathcore became unfashionable to some, and bands lost the spark of inventive creativity that helped them write such off-kilter riffs that were simultaneously approachable and heavy. Enter The Raven Autarchy. This Spanish duo have been sticking to that sound and consistently pumping out solid riff after riff. The Obscene Deliverance is their sophomore release and they show no sign of slowing down.
It’s actually kind of surprising how specific the band are with their sound while still being able to create so many quality riffs within it. The Obscene Deliverance never has a dull moment where the listener could go “eh, this part isn’t that great”. It’s constantly pushing forward like an elephant making its way through a cherry blossom forest. There’s also always some sort of flair going on as well. Blast beats, a cool lead, a creative breakdown, the band is always throwing something new in the mix. Speaking of the mix, the production is great. Everything is crisp and crunchy while still being meaty. Oftentimes when bands in this genre go for a “modern production” sound, the cold, processed production takes life out of the music. That’s not the case here, as somehow they’ve managed to keep it streamlined without being clinically so. The chugs hit hard, the leads cut through, the bass is audible and full, and the vocals are deep. This type of production is pretty much everything one can ask for from a band doing this type of music.
When delivering a very specific type of riff in a niche genre, it’s hard to escape the feeling of familiarity at times. And while the songs themselves are all great, they can be a bit overwhelming to listen to many times, as they all satisfy the same craving. It’s not a huge deal-breaker though, because the quality is so high and the band does things to keep it fresh. Stylistically, The Raven Autarchy are closest to Within the Ruins’s debut album, with the extra technical shenanigans of After the Burial’s Rareform added on top of that. They’ve taken the best of both worlds and fused it into their own formula. Even knowing the band’s propensity for memorable and headbang-y licks, every song still surprises the listener with more and more as a new section comes around that’s even heavier and catchier than the rest.
Overall, The Obscene Deliverance is an obscenely solid album. With an assault of quality licks, syncopation that you can’t help but nod to, great solos and visceral vocals, The Raven Autarchy have shown that they’re yet again at the top of this game. While the songs on the album might be a tad too similar to each other at times, that’s not really an issue because that just means they’re all similarly awesome. Fans of breakdowns, solos and technical riffs should definitely enjoy this.
The Raven Autarchy’s The Obscene Deliverance gets…