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Ragana is a duo whose members alternate duties on drums, guitar, and vocals to produce some of the most unique and affecting dark music in metal today. The two-piece came together in 2011 in the DIY punk scene of Olympia, WA and are now based in Olympia and Oakland, CA. In their time together so far, Ragana have self-released five albums and teamed up with genre-favourite Thou for a split release in 2018. The following year, Ragana released their heralded We Know That The Heavens Are Empty EP and have quietly been working on new music ever since. The band signed with The Flenser in late 2022 and now present their forthcoming debut album for the label, Desolation’s Flower.
On Desolation’s Flower, Ragana draws upon a number of influences from the flora and fauna of their Pacific Northwest origins to the darkly nostalgic folk of Mt. Eerie and, yes, their Olympian forebears Wolves In The Throne Room, synthesising them into an experimental, highly idiosyncratic take on black metal. Held together by an intense focus on raw emotion and haunting atmospherics, Ragana shifts seamlessly from tender, mesmerising vocal harmonies to piercing, heart-ripping screams and back again, yielding music that is heavy, beautiful and punishing all at once.
Written over the past few tumultuous years, Desolation’s Flower is the band’s most devastating effort to date, containing seven incantations of loss, rage, pain and hope. Expertly engineered by the masterful Nicholas Wilbur at the Unknown Studio in Anacortes, Washington (Planning For Burial, drowse, Divide and Dissolve, Have a Nice Life), the album serves as the culmination of the past decade plus of the band’s ethos and execution.