First thing that grabs your attention when getting this album is the cover art. It’s something different and you could think straight away that this will be another post metal album. Nothing more deceiving, “Youth In Ribbons” is pure Black Metal done in a specific way that many won’t like.
When I reviewed Necrostrigis album the word that came to mind was “archaic”. Could use the same word for “Youth In Ribbons” but it wouldn’t give credit to it. If Nectrostrigis album was recorded in a deep basement, “Youth In Ribbons” had to be done in some old deep shaft hundreds meters underground in a copper mine in Wales!
And still, I don’t think those words give it credit. You have to listen to it to understand. And this takes us to the main point. If you don’t like the old, raw and analog sound which is recorded this way on purpose (or mastered to sound like that) don’t even try Revenant Marquis. You will hit a wall that is impenetrable. But if you like to dwell in darkness and murky sound you couldn’t find a better album. You have been warned, so enter those shafts at your own risk.
One element that caught me instantly was the slow tracks. Now and then after Black Metal blasts and cannonades we get a track that concentrates on melodies and dark sinister mood rather than quick and relentless music. Tracks like “Grave Lit Transmogrification”, “Propagator of an Unspeakable Incestuous Coven ” or “The Blood of Lady Tasker” sunk into my brain straight away and for me are the highlight of “Youth in Ribbons”.
The amount of good melodies which are memorable and that specific thick atmosphere which you could cut with knife in those three tracks could fill a whole album of any mediocre band. Those slow, melodic parts make the whole album special. The way that band is flawlessly and naturally shifting from speed to melodies is incredible and doesn’t put you off for a second. Without them this album would still be good… but only good. As a whole it is phenomenal. A perfect example of how various Black Metal can be in less than 38 minutes and without spending thousands on expensive studio.
“Youth in Ribbons” shows that making Black Metal is all about emotion, dedication and talent, things that lacks in “produced” commercial Black Metal of XXI century. Tapes are sold out, same with vinyls. Your only chance to listen to this monumental and “absolute” form of black metal is CD from IPR, limited to 300 copies… better be quick. (Sulphur)