In the faith of Judaism, the Ruach Ra’ah is the manifestation of evil that comes to rest upon the living during sleep. The spirit, reckoned to be one sixtieth fraction of death, can only be removed by ritual washing of the hands. In the faith of black metal, Ruach Raah is a Portuguese duo dedicated to the promotion of hatred and fanatical opposition to ‘society’. Thus the modern aim lives comfortably with the ancient threat.

Ruach Raah deal in primitive brutalism, nothing more, nothing less. There is little variation in the material offered for consumption. Each track is mid to fast paced, with buzzing, saw-like guitars and propulsive drumming. Vocals are rasped and delivered with no concession to melody or to legibility of lyrics.

Scythe Militia stands out from the morass, but only a little. The listener could press play at any point on the album and, unaware of track listing or timing, have no idea what they were listening to. The maelstrom of violence, the miasma of death, all combine to create a claustrophobic listening experience that only true fans of black metal might term ‘enjoyable’.

Funeral Fumes is perhaps the most considered track featured. Portions of the verses are given over to a more doom-tinged pace. The guitars sound thicker and heavier when given the chance to breathe. Those who appreciate the early work of Darkthrone may find matter to feast upon here.

Final track Bodysnatchers opens surprisingly with a sample from the television series Taboo. Even unto the world of primitive black metal is welcomed mass consumption entertainment.

As with so much primitive black metal, originality is largely surrendered in favour of bombast. Although it is possible to accompany the blackest of lyrical objective with a degree of musicality, Ruach Raah spurn that invitation. Theirs is a black world view, with an even darker soundscape to match. Under The Insignia of Baphomet is a work designed only for those who already share that view.


Under the Insignia of Baphomet is out now on War Arts Productions.