Sep 2023 16

Album CoverA Cloud of Ravens
Album: Lost Hymns
Category: Goth / Rock / Post-Punk
Label: Nexilis Records /Schubert Music Europe
Release Date: 2023-04-28
Author: Trubie Turner (Flexei)


Firmly residing in the nebulous midland between post-punk and rock, A Cloud of Ravens is a contemporary addition to the neighborhood blazed by acts such as The Sisters of Mercy and The Cult. The Brooklyn duo mixes gloomy synth, moody basslines, and brooding vocals with lively anthemic rock guitar. Building on the same strong foundations laid by their forebearers and using much the same materials as the rest of the neighborhood, A Cloud of Ravens also comes in on Lost Hymns with some fresh paint and new design ideas to keep things a bit fresh.

“Requiem for the Sun” acts as an excellent opener, treading familiar goth/rock ground while showcasing the band’s keen ability to produce catchy choral hooks. “In Winter’s Arms” has an excellent slow buildup as the moody and subtle surf rock touches and whispery vocals lead into the chorus, but as the vocals become more bombastic, the song falters as the mix levels become overbearing; this highlights the band’s struggle to hit the desired register that would have been less pronounced with a more even vocal and musical mix. Interestingly, the following track, “Old Ghosts” also features somewhat strained vocals on the chorus, but the delivery and the musical accompaniment is much more dynamic, giving a feeling of passion instead of a shaky performance, resulting in a much stronger song and one of the album’s highlights.

On top of the other issues, we also have tracks like “When We Go Cold,” which aims for a slower, more contemplative moment on the album, but it again is heavily focused on a vocal performance that, as previously eluded to, doesn’t always have the strength to carry the load. Musically, much of the track is overly muted when it would have benefitted from more pronounced guitar work. Even in “Nature of Artifice,” which sounds like great single fodder, the guitar is muted to near oblivion, leaving a great track still feeling a bit hollow. While this may all sound overly negative, there’s a lot to like about Lost Hymns. It is still replete with great hooks, catchy rhythms, and some big highlights that are sure to find their way onto many playlists and club sets. It is a good album, but frustratingly, it feels like a great album is hidden just under its flaws.
Track list:

  1. Requiem for the Sun
  2. In Winter’s Arms
  3. Old Ghosts
  4. The Blackest Mantra
  5. Parable
  6. Fear Not
  7. Nature of Artifice
  8. When We Go Cold
  9. Rite and Ritual
  10. Tower Down
  11. Obsidian Waltz

A Cloud of Ravens
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Nexilis Records / Schubert Music Europe
Website, Facebook (Nexilis), Facebook (Schubert), Instagram (Nexilis), Instagram (Schubert)

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