• 6.6/10
    BELLS AND RAVENS - In Our Blood - 6.6/10


Dr. Music Records
Release date: March 26, 2020

User Review
7.5/10 (1 vote)

Former Contracrash guitarist Matt Carviero has composed and recorded a solo project with Selin Schönbeck of We Are Legend on vocals giving us a mix of Symphonic Metal, Power ballads and Classical symphony arrangements  on their new album Bells and Ravens – In our Blood. Carviero is a very talented musician, and quite versatile at playing multiple instruments, as well as being very competent at programming drum machines and orchestration that fatten up the sound on this studio project.

The album kicks off with “Rise”, a well produced symphonic Metal tune with some Hard Rock elements that keep you guessing as to where the song is heading at times. Guitar parts are very well executed, and give the song a good crunchy sound. “Bridges Ablaze” continues in this theme, with mixes of Rock and Metal to vary the pace and dynamics of the song. “Now” comes in a little heavier, and picks the pace up before going into an almost modern Pop bridge. One thing this album does is keep you on your toes when it comes to changes in pace and style. “Now” has strong melodies, and may be the strongest cut on the record.

Until I Leave

Next up is a ballad called “Until I Leave” that Carviero wrote about his late father back in 2015, and shows what he was feeling after his passing, and how he was dealing with his loss. The song seems very different from the other compositions in style and feel, and almost reminds one of Bon Jovi. The song is not one of this reviewer’s favorites, but if you like that style, you will find it pleasing with it’s heartfelt lyrics and poppy feel.

The Masters

The high point on this record are the reimagined arrangements of Classical greats from Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Bruckner. Carviero shows off his studio talents here to full effect, and does justice to these beloved great works of music. To be able to arrange and record all of the parts here showcases his superb technical skill, and his abilities to program complex orchestra parts. These songs tend to remind us of Trans Siberian Orchestra with their blend of Heavy Metal guitars and big orchestra sounds.

Final Notes

Bells and Ravens is an interesting collection of studio recordings from a musical virtuoso. What the album could have used to improve the overall feel is a human drummer. The drum parts are a little too perfect with almost impossible fills and parts that tend to get a little carried away at times, and taking a little away from the overall feel. That said, this album has something to offer fans of Metal guitar and Classical music that make it well worth checking out.


Matt Carviero: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Drum & Orchestration Programming
Selin Schönbeck: Vocals

Matt Carviero
Matt Carviero
Selin Schönbeck
Selin Schönbeck


  1. Rise
  2. Bridges Ablaze
  3. Now
  4. Until I Leave
  5. The Fire Inside
  6. 1808 (Beethoven’s 5th Symphony; 1st Movement)
  7. 1877 (Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake; Act 2, No. 10)
  8. 1896 (Bruckner Metal Medley Symphonies 8.4 and 9.2)


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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