Funeral Moonlight - 2011 - Italy
Hailing out of Italy, Kaiserreich delivers a solid slab of black metal with plenty of energy and dark passion. All the music is played with precision and skill and while I would not say that this is on my album of the year list, there is enough brutality to make any metal fan happy. The only area it falls short in, and is will always be my pet peeve, is the lack of variety. The majority of tracks carry a repetition that makes me want to skip ahead.
Not to say that there arent a few that break up the monotony. "Dreamfall (Pure Tortured Heart) is a killer track that breaks up the continual aggression with riffs that are slowed down to a nice melodic rhythm but will still have you banging your head. Hapax Legomenon is an instrumental piece that contains haunting chants and dark symphony before it brings you right back into the ferocity.
This is a very decent effort from some talented musicians who know how to deliver black metal in its rawest form. While this not a masterpiece, Ravencrowned is an album that any fans of this genre can appreciate. My only hope is that they are willing to experiment a little bit more and step outside their comfort zone with their next album.