Ash Borer

Ash Borer

Written by: MGA on 05/03/2012 06:25:22

Modern black metal is the most over-saturated genre in metal. Sent on a collision course with shoegaze and post-metal and every other genre high on atmosphere and low on church burnings, black metal today only hints at its '90s forebearers.

In a musical world sculpted by the Internet, producing grim, melancholic work is as easy as owning a guitar, a computer, and an unfilled Prozac prescription. The result has been a market flooded with quality work produced by the likes of deafheaven and Altar of Plagues, but with these additions to the black metal annals have come Wolves in the Throne Room alsorans, making the search for good, original music a bit more difficult.

Enter Ash Borer. Enter their self-titled full length debut. Made up of a total of three tracks spread out over 39 minutes, this format is neither groundbreaking nor refreshing: double digit track lengths have become the norm of black metal's most recent output.

What is refreshing, however, is Ash Borer's insistence on remembering the past. Specifically, the band's insistence on remembering the more anthemic moments of Emperor. On album opener "In the Midst of Life, We are in Death", over two and a half minutes are spent inching forward through feedback at dirge-like speeds, before finally a 2012 version of "In the Nightside Eclipse" is hammering away at a blast beat pace. The more epic moments of Emperor are in full force on Ash Borer's debut, where teethy, misanthropic riffs appear around every corner, accented by howling vocals.

If one were ever in search of an example of a record where the vocals are more for setting a vibe than anything else, Ash Borer have essentially written a thesis on it. "Ash Borer" really makes one wonder whether there are even lyrics on this album, or if the shrieks and screams are just pure, unadulterated emotion.

In any case, Ash Borer has crafted a solid debut that freshens up a genre that refuses to go stagnant, despite the high concentration of new additions to it. If they play their cards right, they're on a path of greatness that will see them rise to Throne Roomian heights.


Download: In the Midst of Life, We are in Death, My Curse Was Raised in Darkness Against a Doomsday Silence
For The Fans Of: Wolves in the Throne Room, Altar of Plagues, deafheaven
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 10.03.2011
Psychic Violence Records

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