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Boomkat Product Review:
The brainchild of Smolken, the figure behind Wolfmangler, Dead Raven Choir is a bizarre and slightly frightening enterprise consisting of himself (on bowed bass, electric bass and vocals) plus a drummer and two other vocalists. Schmerzensgewalt is said to be the swan song for this project and has been "Recorded in Poland on cheap and archaic Soviet Bloc technology"so as to (as the press release so artfully puts it: "tear songs limb from limb, note by note, before reassembling them in a crude mockery of what stood before." Apparently in amongst this snarling mass of fizzing darkness you'll find covers of songs by Leonard Cohen, Richard Thompson, Dead Or Alive and Army Of Lovers, but the doomy arrangements and overloaded production style hardly give you any clues. Considering bass is just about the only instrument to be heard on this album, it's surprising that the whole frequency bandwidth normally associated with the instrument has been sucked out of the mix. Such is black metal. Recommended.