GENRE: Black Metal
RATING: 8.0 / 10
Ash Borer are a part of a relatively new musical movement that revolves around the terms “USBM” and “Cascadian Black Metal”, being one of the many acts to emerge from California (along with Fell Voices, Volahn, Bone Awl and others). This style is generally atmospheric in the veins of Wolves In The Throne Room or Weakling, with most of the bands just ripping of those two. However, Ash Borer might be the most powerful band among them, with a unique sound that strays from the path of the two bands mentioned above.
Even though the main element of the album is black metal, with howling vocals and discordant riffs, there are several passages to post-metal, drone and ambient as well. The compositions are long (over ten minutes each) but it would be absurd to be any shorter, since the point is to create a deep and dim atmosphere. The use of the keys is essential, especially in the non-black metal parts, building up an opaque and dark aura.
Every track is the perfect sequel to the previous one and that makes the album’s flow unerring, placing this album a bit higher than their promising debut. It has moments of intense black metal, silent dark ambient/drone, it approaches the area of blackgaze a bit, all of these combined succesfully together. The sound reminds of an american band, even though the sleek progressions are a bit scandinavian here and there, in terms of melody. What makes the album even more captivating is the unconventional structure of the songs and the variations in them, keeping the attention of the listener awake at all times while showing the quality of the musicianship and the solid chemistry of the band.
The music of Ash Borer is capable of provoking inner feelings and thoughts, their music is strongly emotional with an ounce of romance in it, something that makes it a moving target for the rest of the die hard black metal fans. Anyhow, the result is very artistic and innovative. A remarkable effort.
♠Recommended tracks: Phantoms / Convict All Flesh
Review by: VS