They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but what happens when the imitator becomes the innovator of the two? The Raven Autarchy is an incredible example of this, clearly aping the absurd guitar work, shifts in tempo and technical skill of a band like Within The Ruins. The one man mastermind behind all of the lyrics and music, Avi Masterpiece as he calls himself, hailing from Spain of all places, wears his influences on his sleeve. Where The Obscene Deliverance
changes the dynamic is that it adheres to Within The Ruins pre – Elite, focusing less on the typical verse – chorus – verse structure and groove laden, djent styling’s that are so prevalent on Elite and Phenomena. Instead it is all about technicality, catchy hooks and that almost neo-classical guitar-work that made them, channeling albums like Invade.
The Raven Autarchy is so much more than a quality imitation, delving more into the side of deathcore than progressive metalcore, with the vocals producing that low, guttural bellow followed by moments of piercing shrieks. The vocals can end up sounding too much like an Aversions Crown imitation, but they hold their own, with songs like ‘A Dead Cherry Blossom Tree’ and ‘Engineered Consciousness’ being particular highlights of their capability. Where The Obscene Deliverance sets itself apart is its guitar-work. This album is all about the hooks, it is impressive that every little section of each song, every riff, solo and breakdown are all memorable, toe-tapping excursions into metal bliss.
The skill on display is also the bands biggest Achilles heel, with the music, or more specifically the guitar, takes over every other aspect. The drums feel a little too generic at times, with every breakdown following the rolling kick, cymbal tap that is so prevalent in deathcore. The vocals take second stage to the soaring guitar-work and the lyrics can be hokey, many focusing on popular films or video games such as Outlast. That isn’t to say that all these aspects don’t enhance the experience, the vocals shine at points, the guitar has plenty of room to wow listeners and the rest of the instruments fill out the dense soundscape competently.
The Obscene Deliverance suffers from lack of content, coming in at a little over half an hour, the album is short, too short. It says a lot that it will leave listeners wanting more but it will also leave them a little unfulfilled. Luckily there is also a full instrumental version of the album that highlights just how talented The Raven Autarchy are.
The Raven Autarchy are here to stay, and they fill a void left by other similar bands who moved onto commercial success. The focus on technical skill and sheer brutality makes The Obsence deliverance a complete success, one that straddles the line between a incredible ode to its influences and a band that will influence generations to come and maybe even its progenitors. In the case of The Raven Autarchy, the student has become the master.