With doom metal dating back to mid-1970’s all thanks to groups such as Black Sabbath, Pagan Altar and Witchfinder General, the droning guitars and reoccurring themes of grief, suffering and despair still stands strong to this day. Although, the nineties also holds a remarkable amount of classics within the genre, as well as a few that have remained unnoticed or underappreciated by today’s scene. One of which just so happen to be Swedish doom trio Count Raven, who have reissued their 1990 debut Storm Warning through Metal Blade Records. So, we decided to take a look at the reissue and see how this record has aged over the last twenty-eight years.
Looking back at the approach they made, Count Raven were inoculating Storm Warning with a plethora of low-key cinematic moments that really capture a new spirit to the genre. Although that is the case in tracks such as ‘Inam Naudemina’, ‘Within the Garden of Mirrors’ and ‘Social Warfare’, Count Raven also follow the same ritual as most doom bands do in ‘True Revelation‘ and ‘Sometimes a Great Nation’. The good thing about this album too is that they don’t oversaturate Storm Warning with super long pieces, and instead keep a handful of songs no short than about four minutes, and no more than close to nine minutes.
Dan ‘Fodde’ Fondelius channels a strong Ozzy-esque atmosphere that dwells quite fluidly throughout the course of the album, but in no way does he try to make the listener assume that he’s trying to go where Sabbath or Pentagram have gone. Though they’re noticeable characteristics, Fondelius and co. also pay tribute musically to the likes of Dio, Saint Vitus and Candlemass in a sturdy, melancholic method to their song-writing. The rhythm between the bass and drums really help orchestrate a jam-like style, in which the distorted guitar tracks, and rather unsettling ambience in the production bellow in a grim and heated aura, which really captures a lot of what you could call, the swarth in Storm Warning.
One of the things I like about reissues is that an old LP from back in the day can get back its shine once again by newer audiences and perhaps bring a whiff of nostalgic to older fans. Despite bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica and Judas Priest constantly getting a number of reissues on their own classic hymns, the lesser known acts tend to have something a little more enticing instore. As sad as it is to see them be left slightly unnoticed, it’s much more stimulating to find something from decades ago return to the shelves and be given another chance by constant buyers in the market. For Count Raven, and a record such as Storm Warning, there are many things about this fantastic piece that millions of doom fans would definitely find so unique about itself. Would I say this LP deserves to be up there with the likes of Electric Wizard’s Dopethrone and Sleep’s Holy Mountain? As a new fan of these guys, I’d say yes.
YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON COUNT RAVEN ‘STORM WARNING’ HERE