Youth In Ribbons, the new album by Revenant Marquis, is shrouded in mystery, not merely in the chilling sensations of its sounds but also in its inspirations. No less mysterious is the source of the music, a prolific yet anonymous Welsh musician, whose idiosyncratic creations confoundingly combine the mind-mutilating assaults of raw black metal with a certain style of wraithlike, hallucinatory melodicism that one might even call elegant. Images of a fine-fingered and well-dressed vampire come to mind, seductive in its allure but lethal in its promise.
When I first discovered the album I was struck by the photograph on its cover and by curiosity about what the album’s title might signify in the context of that image. As I wrote here, after listening to the first advance track, I had my own interpretation: The beauty, the innocence, the aspiration in that face, the brightening of the flowers — it’s as if the band were saying, “Here’s what you might have looked like when your dreams for the future were still bright, and now let us show you what life is really like”.
And hence, I thought of the album title as a reference to youth torn to ribbons, rather than adorned by them.