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† And then the Curse swept the Earth

sexta-feira, 12 de abril de 2013

Ash Borer "Bloodlands" Review

At this point everyone knows already Ash Borer recognized as one of the foremost exponents of the Cascadian black metal scene. After a split with their fellow Fell Voices, a Demo and their latest  full-length", Cold Of Ages" released last year by the hand of Profound Lore Records, Ash Borer are at this point completely rooted in the USBM generating a large cult around them and on every release they put out. 

The first aspect i felt after hearing this new release was that, to me, "Bloodlands" feels almost like a sequel of "Cold Of Ages" due to the sound and song structure on it. Almost if the tracks featured here are, well.. leftovers isn't a very pretty word, but were built in the creative process of "Cold Of Ages". Many people i've talked to, said that they were a little bit disappointed with last year's "Cold Of Ages", I on the other hand must belong in that small minority that absolutely loved it. It's sounds precisely like... Ash Borer. Many people probably felt they sell-out because of that album being released by Profound Lore, i don't know. That chaotic whirlwind of cold and rough shaped riffs along with that blasting drum buried deep in the mix and those haunting blood-freezing screams all ensnared in the midst of this desolate and gelid scenario, was in fact, still there.

In all their releases, the band always had a tendency to evolve in order to create something more atmospheric, and that is not an exception here on "Bloodlands". The opening track "Oblivion's Spring", starts with some repetitive isolated guitar notes earlier accompanied by a keyboard in the background, as another layer of guitar notes is added into this mix, creating an atmosphere shrouded in mystery. This is just a short introduction that is immediately pulled under our feet as a storm of sharp riffs and savage blastbeats falls upon us as the shrieking screams circle through the middle of this vortex which plagues us, absorbing us in such a way, that we hardly realize the 15 minutes that this track lasts. Going from chaotically accelerated rhythms to mid-paced sections extinguishing slowly to the sound of the same notes that opened it now distorted by a twisted atmosphere like the howl of the cold Winter wind that carries the ashes of what once was beautiful.

To help you to understand the effect of this track imagine this: as the first notes echo, imagine yourself in the middle of a beautiful garden in the midst of Spring when suddenly, without warning, the sky turns black and a terrible storm falls upon us, with very strong and cold winds destroying everything. Leaving nothing but wrecks and smithereens on the floor. "Oblivion's Spring" is a obscure hymn to despair, loneliness and madness. As something dark and macabre that was hidden behind something as seemingly naive and beautiful... That's how i visually imagine "Oblivion's Spring" in my head.

Right after this turbulent start we enter "Dirge/Purgation", which I'm going to face as two tracks merged into one, being "Dirge" a beautiful instrumental interlude served as intro for "Purgation" that has kind of a doom-ish touch. It begins with very slow beats as the dragged sound of the guitars mourn along a path at least, painful. The voice barely cuts through as it's very caught up in the mix. As if the instruments were in a determined room and the voice is one or two room below.

Now under a much more dynamic rhythm, "Purgation" is a track that kind of hypnotizes us, leading us into a state of trance due to the those repetitive guitar notes that very rarely and occasionally, break into other territories ranging from increasingly fast to slow rhythms that seem to belong to a more doom-ish territory due to the decadent and gloomy sound that it emits. I definitely feel that Ash Borer were trying something different with this track here. Experiencing something new into a more atmospheric  territories, trying to create new dynamics to their tracks without losing the seal "Ash Borer" in it. Looking back to "Bloodlands" it's another great and unique milestone into Ash Borer's career, a record that makes me come back repeatedly never getting tired of hearing it.

In the meantime you can order it here at the Gilead Media store, it also will be available on Psychic Violence store but only after the european tour ends, along with some other goodies like the Ruin Lust LP for example. Stay tuned.

8 comentários:

  1. Nice review man. Didn't get around to "Cold of Ages" but I might give this one a shot.

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    Respostas
    1. Thanks mate. You must dive into these two releases deeper. Really ;)

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  2. loved all this band's work up until cold of ages. Found this to be quite boring (whereas I still listen to their splits and earlier works with great enjoyment). But nice review... might sway me to listen again.

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    Respostas
    1. Thanks. Well, i guess it all depends on how much you like this band and how far are you willing to expand your limits when it comes to their music. Although they might sound a little bit different on these latest releases, at its core it's still Ash Borer.

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  3. we're back http://theelementaryrevolt.net/

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  4. new fell voices sounds awesome though... the band seems to be taking the opposite route of Ash Borer by roughing everything up and clogging it all together.

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