(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
From The Great White North (well, Montreal, Québec really), comes the début from Ravenblack. The five-song self-titled EP is an astounding foray into full-on stoner rock laden with nuances of psychedelia and space-y doom.
The head-warping heavy rock offering comes to us from the talents of Pierre-Luc (Drums), Karim (Guitar), Reno (Guitar), Joey (Vocals) and Franck (Bass). What the quintet pulls off here is nothing short of astoundingly impressive.
They’re taking influences from a wide swath of acts, like Queens Of The Stone Age, Black Pussy and VALIS. It could be said that it’s the music of the desert, rock and roll by night or if you prefer, darker-hued desert rock.
Things launch with the cosmos crossing introduction aptly titled “Intro“, a heady start that soon explodes into a wall of sound. It hammers and hammers away as intensities build this instrumental intro into an insurmountable monolith of music. Tthen arrives the stop ‘n go riffery of “1919“, a bouncy cut with riveting energy and engrossing lyrics.
A headlong crash into the atmospheric-exuding tones of “Sysiphus“, a trippy, chilled-out song with unlimited swagger. Hazy vocals and restrained music hold down the fort for as long as they can, but both eventually explode and the ride is on.
Once the wahhed-out, bluesy “The Smokes” rolls in like a misty man in black, it sets up the EP-ending “Shackles & Chains” rather nicely. Things are dialed down and held to an almost whisper before the backwoodsian grooves arrive.
An altogether impressive début, to say the least. Shrouded in the low country aesthetics by way of the northern lights, one that should easily appeal to fans of ethereally-tinted, oft-times a bit haunting music. That is definitely what’s contained here in abundance. Come take a trip to the arid desert lands of Canada with the Bandcamp stream below of the S/T EP from Ravenblack. It is also available for purchase at this location.