'My Firstborn Will Surely Be Blind'

by DEAD RAVEN CHOIR

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Paxalkol Wochen
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Paxalkol Wochen Trve dirge, timeless beyond metal, and so dry, you can feel the cobwebs cracking against the reverb trudging on. Leave this album up on the mountain with my carcass for the buzzards. Favorite track: The Trees They Grow So High.
ANDREW BROWN
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ANDREW BROWN Unbelievably brutal, black-metal influenced yet funeral-paced weirdness from Poland's devil voiced purveyor of doom-folk, Smolken. This has barely recognisable 'covers' of such surprising artists as Richard Thompson and Townes Van Zandt. Favorite track: A Rosebud In June.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

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    Very bleak artwork. Recorded in Poland on cheap and archaic Soviet Bloc technology,"My Firstborn Will Surely Be Blind" sees DEAD RAVEN CHOIR in full throttle audio assault with total disregard for all conventions of audio fidelity, with great songs of the 20th Century by artists diverse as Townes Van Zandt, Richard Thompson and Cole Porter torn limb from limb and dragged through Smolken's forest home. Curiously upbeat in parts, though with harrowing and bizarre artwork.

    "A ghostly fog. A hollow sonic death rattle: Doom with pneumonia" - THE WIRE

    "A fusion of folk and country song templates and trebly, bass-deprived black metal sounds... Triumphant" - Boomkat

    Harrowing.

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    Gloriously horrendous LP version with printed inner bag. High production quality is matched by the paucity of images and murky feelings imparted by blurred photography.

    Initial quantities were on "smoke" vinyl. Remainder are black. Last few...

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about

Smolken returns with to Aurora Borealis in the guise of his perhaps better known DEAD RAVEN CHOIR project. Since the release of WOLFMANGLER's "Dwelling in a Dead Raven for the Glory of Crucified Wolves" Smolken has settled in Poland, and seriously begun to record as much as possible. Where WOLFMANGLER is slow and ponderous, "compost with a grudge", and could perhaps even may be described as an obscure branch of Doom, how shall we classify DEAD RAVEN CHOIR? An altogether noisier undertaking and unafraid of the heady heights of mid tempo, DEAD RAVEN CHOIR has baffled and irked listeners for a number of years now. An unholy cross of Black Metal and Folk? Organically produced noise and scree? Doubtless many a consumer has been outraged by a lazily tagged DEAD RAVEN CHOIR release, though with the countless CDr and micro label releases there grows a veritable army of supporters, eager to have their preconceptions smashed and ears damaged once more with every hint of new material.
And so to "Surely My Fisrtborn Will Be Blind". The first thing to assault the listener is Smolken's disregard, nay contempt, for the concept, practice and orthodox theory of recording levels. In his own words "Everything was recorded using a Polish stereo microphone from the 1970s, mixed and mastered using headphones of roughly the same age and provenance and a more modern pair of PC speakers which I got for free from a guy who paid about $6 for it." The instrumentation is similarly basic, being entirely bass centred, be it the double necked electric bass guitar of which Smolken is so fond (though he is now the proud owner of a tripple necked model...), or the more traditional bass fiddle. "I already knew from working with WOLFMANGLER that metal sounds better without guitars. Cleaning up the arrangements made things clearer and heavier."
Raw, violent and organized, "Surely My Firstborn Will Be Blind" grips the listener immediately and threatens to overwhelm them with its brute force. Clearly there is something to be said for the Eastern Bloc technologies that were so deftly abused, as this is truly a unique sound. Smolken has transcended the avant garde and moved beyond: Ladies and gentlemen, DEAD RAVEN CHOIR has left the field.

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released January 1, 2007

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