Ash Borer - Ash Borer review
|Release date:||March 2011|
01. In The Midst Of Life, We Are In Death
02. Rest, You Are The Lightning
03. My Curse Was Raised In The Darkness Against A Doomsday Silence
Going through black metal releases this year is like a fat dude swearing to stop stuffing his face with candy "right after this one last piece". No matter how much you have, there is still more and each one looks equally delicious and tempting. So, instead of being productive with my time, like studying, socializing and... you know, having a life, I'm stuck listening to "just this one more album". Oh, 2011, how you have spoiled us...
Ash Borer are the band I have to thank for a few more hours of my time going down the drain. After so many great black metal releases this year, this one still manages to sound good enough to hog my attention for a long while, which is quite a feat. From the first few minutes of the opening track, presented as a doom-y, haunting dirge which eventually breaks into one of the eeriest blast-beat driven riffs I've had the pleasure of hearing in recent memory, to the almost ambient/noise finisher in the last few minutes of the closing track, Ash Borer does not loose its entrancing power. Think of the blurriest, haziest dream, not necessarily a nightmare, that you've ever had. Picture yourself walking through a black and white world, with nothing but infinite grey skies and an unreachable horizon in your sight, while hearing tortured wailing in the distance, never knowing where it comes from, or who's behind it. If you can picture such a scene, you're well on your way of understanding the sonic landscape Ash Borer creates.
Three fairly long tracks, the shortest one clocking just under 8 minutes, each have a distinct personality and feeling about them. Whereas the first third of the album is a masterfully crafted introduction, featuring everything from drone-esque stringing to almost headbang-able riffs, the second chapter is a riff-based onslaught with a noticeably calmer, more melancholic ending. The final track takes the best of both previous ones and blends them nicely together into a 19 minute juggernaut which most Wolves In The Throne Room copycats would sell their mothers to be able to write. The strength of Ash Borer lies in its finely crafted equilibrium: it's both very contemplative and atmospheric and has that dose of heaviness and crushing, punishing feeling we expect from a metal album. Riff-y assaults sometimes break, allowing the dissonant simple chords to take over for a while, preparing the listener for the next stage of delirium.
With their debut, Ash Borer have not released a masterpiece, although the album proves they have more than enough potential to do so in the future. I just hope the world won't end in 2012 before they release their next opus.
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