In the bottomless, murky waters of dark music, the Raveonettes are like a lone flare in a starless sky — a band bringing a slight smirk to the ho-humdrum of dark, ambient rock. In no way is the Danish duo on their way to making the darkest music out there — but Raven could be marking a tonal overhaul for the band.
On Raven in the Grave, the band’s early revivalist sound (circa Pretty in Black) is long gone. The duo has been hanging out in opium dens since their 2008 album — or maybe just getting really cozy with a lot of Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine records. Raven is spacey and lush: “War in Heaven” and “Apparitions” are a pea-soup fog of reverb, and the band punctuates the darkness here and there with dots of light and optimism. It’s all very dark and sad, but then — on “Ignite” and “Evil Seeds” — the Raveonettes pop some lithium and rip the shades open.
The band makes being a little sad feel OK here, mixing up a great gateway drug into the world of static and reverb and weepy sadness. Yay!