RAVENS OVER GOMORRAH, Darkly Melisma (1999, demo)

The skull:
Another purloined still life, although I’m unable this time to cite its provenance. You’d be surprised, though, by what you’ll get out of a Google search for “skull still life with flute.” Evidently back in the Renaissance, skulls and flutes went together like rats and plague. Pretty much every skull came with a flute, some sheet music, and possibly a compass and the carcass of a pheasant. Probably for a time no drawing room was complete without such a scene hanging in an ornately gilded frame. Maybe they were intended as object lessons (in the form of allegory, as were all communications back then) to the spoiled children of the day, who were as little inclined to practice their recorders as today’s wayward youth are to knuckle down and spin the turntables they begged their parents for, before they learned that DJs pretty much just use Macs now. Some stern governess would point at the skull and grimly intone, “So too shall ye all perish and be forgotten if ye attendeth not to thine fipple flowtes”. Piteous half-holing ensued.

The music:
Ravens of Gomorrah are so fucking kvlt that no one dares upload their demo to YouTube. In fact I could only find a single song by the band anywhere online, and it was from the demo before Darkly Melisma so we’ll have to assume all their shit is basically the same, which is to say basically like early Emperor, but lacking the Norse grandeur. Bad keys and falling-down-the-stairs drumming figure prominently, along with a croaking growl that never quite reaches the raspy timbre you expect from this sort of thing. The guitars are badly played, of course, but they do sound marginally better than your average Grieghallen special. I’ve heard worse, but pretty much only on assignment.
— Friar Johnsen