Ash Borer – Bloodlands 12”
Ash Borer has quickly become one of my favorite bands. I first came across them with last year’s release “Cold of Ages” on Profound Lore. I then went back and got their 2011 split with Fell Voices on Gilead Media. Then Profound Lore re-released their self-titled debut earlier this year; and it was that album that really caught my ear, it’s such a powerful and heavy piece of black metal. Now Gilead Media is partnering with Power Violence to release their latest, the vinyl only “Bloodlands” 12”.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to all of their releases back to back, almost exclusively, so when this promo came across my desk, I was pretty excited. One of the things I love about black metal is its power to create stirring emotional atmospheres, and Ash Borer is one of the best. Their music is full of such despair and melancholia. Over he course of 35 so minutes, the band takes you on a thoroughly depressing journey.
Side A kicks off with the 15 minute “Oblivion’s Spring”. It starts of slow with some guitar and noise/ambience before breaking into a cacophony of swirling guitars, drums and tortured vocals. Side B’s two tracks make up the song “Dirge/Purgation”, which continues in a similar vein. An ambient, noise drenched intro builds with its repetitive riff. The “Dirge” ends when “Purgation” begins as the drums come in as a mid-tempo beat before the blast beats kick in the chaos. The song continues with a swirl of guitars, drums and harsh vocals through various breakdowns and movement. Both songs are fairly long, and like most black metal, are repetitive, but they are never boring, in fact, the repetition in almost trance inducing.
This is dark, foreboding music that is full of desperation, yet there is beauty in it, creating a sense of tranquility within its chaotic execution. It’s this type of music I often turn to on stress filled days. It has a power that rips all of the anger, frustration and despair right out of my soul, giving me some much needed, albeit brief solace from the world.