Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Class of 2012: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

California's Ash Borer offers up atmospheric American black metal on their latest release, Cold of Ages.  Coming in at just over 60 minutes, these four songs range from long (11:25) to very long (18:09).  For this style of music, however, song length can easily top 10 minutes with effective transitions, shifts, and tempo changes.

Opening track "Descended Lamentations" starts by creating an eery atmosphere and then switches to chilling, frosty black metal that could easily give a child nightmares for weeks.

"Phantoms" begins slowly and then gets progressively faster, at which point I can hear the soundtrack to some sort of Fight Club-esque montage.  The song comes to an end over a faint drumbeat and ambient, avant-garde tendencies.

The first half of "Convict All Flesh" brings to mind Wolves in the Throne Room.  It features brief guest vocals from Worm Ouroboros' Jessica Way, who adds calming ambiance to the track.

Jessica Way also appears at the beginning and toward the end of final track "Removed Forms."  She does well to provide atmosphere in between black metal storms.

While Cold of Ages contains only four songs in an hour's time, the slow moments help to build icy atmosphere around the faster black metal segments.  This is not for everyone, and I can't help but feel that Ash Borer's best music has yet to be written.

Grade: C+  (78.6%)

No comments:

Post a Comment