On the ever growing dungeon synth scene, there are already multiple tendencies and schools. There are of course microscopic sub-genres, such as the awesome DS/Noise combo of Einhorn, but it might not be all too far-fetched to speak of two schools. One of them is deliberately minimalist and “crude” – either in order to faithfully reproduce the primitive black metal side projects of yore, or simply because its proponents enjoy creating limited, minimalist music with warts and all. The other end of the spectrum, represented by 2nd wave dungeon synth giants like Erang, retains some of the “naivety” and plain escapist elements characteristic of many early representatives of the genre, but aims at technical excellence and further musical development.
RævJäger, as was made evident from our interview with this gallant knight of Rus and even more so from our review of his previous release, belongs to the latter category. With Raevult!, he has taken several steps to move his project into entirely new realms of complexity. The number of instruments, VST though they may be, employed here is truly staggering. Drawing on soundtracks and video game music (though far less explicitly than many others), the music also has a kind of classical vibe to it, even if the rhythmic structures are more straight-forward and popular.
The tone and mood changes lustily and wildly from track to track. The first three songs alone give us epic drama (“The Crusade”), impish playfulness (“Divine Spark of the Trickster’s Sigil”) and ominous power display, reminiscent of Mortiis’ “Da Vi Bygde Tårnet” (“Rise of Inquisition”). With such depth and breadth already fifteen minutes into the album, the eleven compositions of Raevult! taken together make up a veritable horn of dungeon synthy plenty.
One of the hallmarks of RævJäger is that the music is, compared to many other bands in the genre, very positive. “My Chivalry”, “They Shall Kneel to my Throne”, “The Bard, the Jester & the Knight”, and in fact the majority of the tracks on Raevult! have a feeling of open places under the sun, or at the very worst next to a rather cozy fire place in an inn. There may be a sword or two drawn, but there are still plenty of HP to expend in battle, and the spirits are high. However competently he programs his sojourns into an otherworld of knights and fantasy creatures, it may well be the life-affirming, joyous side of RævJäger’s music that carves out a place in the honorary wall niches of dungeon synth’s Crypt of Fame.