India Week: Day 7: Raat – Avenir

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Artist: Raat

Album: Avenir

Label Independent

Release Date: 11/06/2021

Country: India

For the 7th and final day of India Week I wanted to close with something truly moving and beautiful, something that would stick with the listener. For this reason, I chose to focus on Raat‘s latest release Avenir, which dropped independently on June 11th.

If you aren’t familiar with Raat, it’s a one-man project hailing from Delhi, India headed by the extremely talented multi-instrumentalist the multi-instrumentalist S.R. He also happens to be behind Lesath who we covered on Monday (read HERE). Avenir is the project’s 10th release since the start of 2019 and continues it’s streak of flawless releases.

Raat is a blend of highly atmospheric black metal, post-black metal, blackgaze and ambient. The end result is a level of immersive atmosphere that rivals the likes of legendary acts such as Summoning. Obviously, there is less epic fantasy energy, but the depth of atmosphere is comparable. There is almost a mystical sort of quality to the music though, an almost spiritual side. Lyrically things are on the esoteric and philosophical side of things, the words almost read like poetry as can be seen from the first song:

“None to make you whole

As it ever was

Yet for no one

A hundred thousand suns

A consequence, a litany

Led astray, fed into the cities

A lonely road, one for each

And promises to keep

Or ways to be

A vessel for souls

In freezing cold

Wider than the sea

Stars dim the way

For lives yet unsung

Fallen skies gather

Only future remains

As it ever was.”

There is a rawness to the music that cannot be ignored, both vocally and in essence and energy. This rawness adds a great deal of emotional depth to the music overall, particularly in the case of the vocals. However somehow the music manages to still be soothing and comforting despite that. This is the mark of truly great atmospheric black metal. That it can rouse raw emotion in the listener and yet sooth and comfort them simultaneously. It’s this duality that makes the genre as a whole and Raat’s music in particular so appealing and engaging.

The furious flurrying of riffs and hooks and the barrage of drum work that is presented never feels assaulting or overbearing thanks to S.R.’s playing style. There’s a softness applied to all of the instrumentals, a veil that keeps the pointy edges of the music from piercing the listener. This veil is the heavily implemented atmospheric elements of acoustic instrumentation and ambient electronic elements. On top of this you’ll find some parts where the music genuinely does relax and slump down into a mire of atmosphere and it’s in these moments where the album’s true beauty dwells. Look no further than track 3 Halcyon on the release, this is an uplifting and cheerful sounding track with nothing but relaxed ambient and acoustic elements. This track leaves the listener on a high note at the completion of the listening experience.

My only complaint would be that I wish that there was more here. That’s never really a bad thing to take away from an album though. Raat tends to break up music into small individual presentations of specific ideas or emotions. This EP simply continues this trend in the creative process. If you go back and listen to the other EPs from the project you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

Overall, this is a fantastic piece of music, expertly crafted by an individual that seems to just be able to create release after release without ever diminishing in quality or creativity. If this is your first time listening to Raat, I’m sure that it will draw you in and you will fall in love with S.R.’s music just as I have. So following this I suggest checking out the project’s full discography along with Lesath‘s.

Listen to and order the album:

Bandcamp




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