The Ruins Of Beverast – “Takitum Tootem!” EP (Ván Records)
The brainchild of Nagelfar’s Alexander von Meilenwald, The Ruins Of Beverast astounded me with the atmospheric brilliance of 2013’s “Blood Vaults – The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer”. Returning on this EP, von Meilenwald offers us just 2 tracks – the 8 1/2 minute ‘Takitum Tootem! (Wardance)’ and an interpretation of Pink Floyd’s ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’ which takes the original 9 minute “Ummagumma” version to an even more colossal 11 1/2 minute length. I guess with the former he is trying to create a trance state which is centered around a dance beat and repetitive riffing very much like Ministry, with the exception of using Black Metal elements like haunting roars, creepy whispers and of course, screams! As per the title, it’s clearly aimed at ritualistic trance, although the tempo is a little too fast for anything spiritual to be fully experienced (at least by me). By contrast, the Floyd piece is just right, from the primitive drum thudding to the dull strummed guitar and echoing voices, all kept well back in the mix as you feel the experience building climatically. It’s actually in 2 pieces, with the second shorter passage being more space rock with distorted vocals and shamanic wailing really doing the mind bend for me – their effects still being felt long after the song ended! The EP does say it is an ‘…experimental orgy of spiritual psychedelia..’ but equally it stands alone compared to the forthcoming album later this year, which I really hope returns us to what von Meilenwald does best.