Cycle Of The Raven Talons Adjure The Spirituality Of Nature On The Breathtaking Opus, ‘A Medicinal Musical’

Before I get into the heart of this review, I’d like to take a moment to provide a proper shoutout to Chet W. Scott and Glass Throat Recordings. I first learned of this small, independent label with the release of the Blood Of The Black Owl debut back in 2007 – an album that I reviewed for Maximum Metal some 15 or 16 years ago. At that time, there were no digital offerings, only uniquely hand-crafted physical releases. I quickly familiarized myself with Ruhr Hunter, another Chet W. Scott project that leans more toward Industrial Noise and Dark Ambient and was not only instantly blown away, but I was drawn into a world of musical healing and uncommon audial offerings. Since then, I’ve been constantly intrigued by the spiritual and naturalistic-based conjurings that Chet has acquiesced for physical and digital releases. Almost every album on this mighty label resonates with me on a personal level and many of my favorite albums are anchored with Glass Throat Recordings. However, one project that has been on my radar for sometime now – that has finally released a massive undertaking of an album – is Cycle Of The Raven Talons. This meditative double album is everything that I expected and so much more. Featuring over ninety minutes of medicinal drones and soundscapes, this album instantly succeeds in allowing the listener to connect with nature, their own spirituality and a world of ceremonious healing.

Leading the charge in this ritualistic experience is the jarring “Tatanka Nishna Aku”. Fusing spoken word and native chanting, this organic offering is like a calming foreword for the enlightenment that will soon follow. At nearly ten minutes in length, it’s a tributary piece that not only pays homage to women, but it represents a naturalistic approach to beauty and tranquility. Soothing flutes and drones augment the audial spaces as this track enables the lister to transcend into another world of effervescent beauty and traditional narratives. The first of the four twenty plus minute offerings is the enthralling “My Intentions Dawning”. Commencing with a thudding drum sound and whispering breath exhalations, this slow-building ceremonial oblation is a sonic escapade to get completely lost in. Ambient textures begin to layer with lethargic expediency while haunting flute melodies deliver an exotic performance. The soundscape that is presented on this track is vast and ominous while at the same time being consoling. About seven minutes in, delicate spoken words provide a narrative that is beyond relentless. As the droning ambience become louder, howling winds become the force of nature that become engagingly fierce. As the song drives toward its conclusion, vocalizations become more dominate, along with the inclusion of various instrumentation and increased ambience. The next elongated adventure is “To Live Again”. Beginning with distant horns and the cracking of a deep woods camp fire under the brisk even sky, a rhythmic drum patter soon begins, eliciting a solid cadence to synchronize the rest of the instrumentation that randomly comes into fold. For over twenty minutes, this track produces a perpetual solace in relaxation and mesmerizing comfort. Throughout this mammoth undertaking, the tides sway between full on instrumentation and just the constant back beat over reassuring whispers. The feeling of being at one with the wilderness is prevalent as the early evening evolves into the dead of night. Several instruments provide a grim ambience that seamlessly fuses with the rest of the arrangement. The final few minutes abrupts into a controlled but chaotic explosion, as the shadows of the night become the predators of our imagination as life takes on a whole new meaning. The next magnum opus is “Crying”. Opening with the sounds of bird chirping and soft waves brushing against an isolated shoreline, a hollow drone slowly crescendos in the background, clashing with the elements of nature in all forms. A steady, tribalistic drum beat begins to play as the sounds of the early morning dawn come into focus. Darkened, ambient textures become more prevalent, creating an abysmal space of sonic atmospherics. About halfway in, gentle flute-like instruments produce a harmonizing elegance that puts forth a spiritual vibe. Every so often, the cawing of birds remind the listener of the scenic beauty of these ceremonial incantations. The continuous drum patterns and water rumblings makes this track a pleasant and enjoyable experience. The final song on this medicinal experience is “Seek In Shadow, Release Into Light”. Wasting no time, this is the most audial aggressive song on the album. A conglomeration of sounds clash at the very beginning before settling into a faster-paced drum pattern. Chanting vocalizations and eerie whispers trade off as the narrative nature between the two seem contentious. Loud clashes and rumbling throughout evoke an industrialized experience as this quarrelsome piece continues to play out. Toward the middle of the song, many of the aggressive tones fade out in favor of layered vocal patterns that are mollifying and spiritualistic in an ancient, native tongue. After a few minutes of this heralded crooning, light ambient textures begin to build while whispered singing commences. The final impression of this offering starts to wind down in solidarity as the ceremonial endeavor finishes like an enlightened undertaking.

‘A Medicinal Musical’ by Cycle Of The Raven Talons is more than just a rewarding musical experience. It represents the earliest forms of music in its rawest form, as well as the basic understanding of nature and the ritualistic essence that it portrays. By allowing the listener to sink into this sonic voyage while experiencing minimalistic audial excellent it’s apparent that this album is a unique and prominent journey through the soul. Chet W. Scott continually excels in this aspect, no matter what moniker he chooses to use. His gift for providing a naturalistic experience is unmatched and Cycle Of The Raven Talons is just another project that showcases his dynamic abilities. I highly recommend checking out this once in a lifetime listening experience, as well as the other amazing musical gifts that grace the Glass Throat Recordings lineup. Click on the link below and prepare to be enthralled.

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