Rating:
8.2
Ash Borer - Ash Borer
10 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.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Ash Borer
Album: Ash Borer


 


written by Slayer666 | 07.12.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Troy Killjoy - 07.12.2011 at 10:11  
The first paragraph = my entire useless fucking existence. >>

And I can definitely picture the endless grey scenery you described.

Nice review. I might have to waste more time come back to this again asap and see if my mind has changed. I think I gave it around a 7.7 or so; perhaps with more time it could ascend the ranks on my list of 2011 stuff.
Slayer666 - 07.12.2011 at 10:26  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.12.2011 at 10:11

The first paragraph = my entire useless fucking existence. >>

And I can definitely picture the endless grey scenery you described.

Nice review. I might have to waste more time come back to this again asap and see if my mind has changed. I think I gave it around a 7.7 or so; perhaps with more time it could ascend the ranks on my list of 2011 stuff.


Why, thank ye. Now add Alda and Arizmenda to MS, they could also use some more attention/reviewing.
Mr. Doctor - 07.12.2011 at 13:32  
From what I remember of the album I would give it something between 7,2-7,5 but that was one hell of a long time ago and your review make me interesting once again. I can totally picture that scenery you just described. So yeah... Going to re-discover this album again asap.

Good review.
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.12.2011 at 13:34  
I guess this review sums up why I prefer savoury over sweet. Or saccharine as the case has quickly become for this field.
Ag Fox - 07.12.2011 at 18:21  
Haha, nice review, both about sweets and the black and white part. Like this album quite a lot
Troy Killjoy - 07.12.2011 at 20:50  
Written by Slayer666 on 07.12.2011 at 10:26
Why, thank ye. Now add Alda and Arizmenda to MS, they could also use some more attention/reviewing.

http://metalstorm.net/bands/band.php?band_id=6586
http://metalstorm.net/bands/band.php?band_id=6587

Keep up the good reviews.

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