Bloodaxe - Raping The Ancient
White Legends
Raw Black Metal
11 songs ()
Release year: 2004
Bloodaxe, White Legends
Reviewed by Crims

I reviewed Bloodaxe’s release called Bloodthrone back in mid 2003. When I was writing the review the follow up, titled Raping The Ancient, was set to be released shortly there after. However, it never came. I was worried Raping The Ancient would not see the light of day, but finally in November, the new Bloodaxe CD was released. There were obviously numerous delays but it was well worth the wait. Raping The Ancient is a fantastic follow up to Bloodthrone. It’s more mature, better produced, more atmospheric, and above all else has exceeded my expectations in every way possible.

Bloodthrone was an enjoyable release but it never caught my ear like Raping The Ancient has. To describe the sound of Bloodaxe is rather simple. Like many older Norwegian bands constant blast beats are used. Thankfully they come in a variety of tempos: fast, faster, fastest. Some stops and starts can be found as well as occasional fills, but this is pretty much a constant Black Metal blast beat assault, however, the varying tempos add some hidden depth to the music. Bloodaxe have also tried their hand at a more mid-paced Black Metal song (While You Lie Bleeding), using the type of pacing Faustcoven like to use and it is very successful. It so so succesful, in fact, that I like to hear the band write more songs like this. The approach to this track is very epic and multi-faceted and is a stark constrast to the more straightforward assault on the rest of the CD. The main appeal here though is the guitars. There is a heavy distortion to the tone but unlike Bloodthrone, the melodies and atmosphere can more clearly be heard if you give the music the appropriate attention. It’s almost trance inducing and there are some seriously twisted riffs. The best part about the atmosphere produced from the riffing is the effect is not readily available to the listener. Raping The Ancient has a type minimalist approach that forces the listener to pay attention to every note, and then rewards the listener with a very unique and cold atmosphere.

Just like everything else the vocals have also improved. They, too, are heavily distorted and are still intermittent, but are higher in the mix this time. The intermittent style of the vocals is actually a nice touch that is starting to define the sound of Bloodaxe as much as anything. The pacing goes along perfectly with the changes in riffs, which shows the vocals aren’t just random blurts. The lyrics deal entirely with Nordic themes and usually tell a story, as most of the time the lyrics are based on Norse mythos.

Bloodaxe have really out done themselves this time. Though the music is perhaps not as brutal as it was on Bloodthrone, it’s definitely more atmospheric and captivating. It really is something special when Black Metal bands are able to create such a complex atmosphere with so little at their disposal. Even though a couple of tracks blend together the majority of the music on here is brilliant. My favorite songs are Thirteen Oars Of Misfortune and Drifting Of Ull which have some of the best Raw Black Metal riffs this year, if not this decade. All you Raw Black Metal fans need to check these guys out. There is an mp3 on their website and is a great example of the bands sound. Bloodaxe won’t be for everyone and if the only Black Metal you listen to is Dimmu Borgir then don’t bother… but if you’re into the Raw Black Metal scene give these guys a chance and you might find Raping The Ancient as entrancing as I have.

Killing Songs :
Haunting The Runes, Superior Winds, Loki's Fury, Drifting Of Ull, Thirteen Oars Of Misfortune, While You Lie Bleeding
Crims quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Bloodaxe that we have reviewed:
Bloodaxe - Bloodthrone reviewed by Crims and quoted 75 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Dec 20, 2004 6:07 pm
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