Monday, December 18, 2017 12:40

Posts Tagged ‘Ash Borer’

ASH BORER – THE IRREPASSABLE GATE 2LP (Profound Lore Records)

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Ash Borer - The Irrepassable GateI was fortunate enough to see Ash Borer play live in a small barroom in Dublin last night, with just a modest smattering of die-hards in attendance. They put on a truly mesmerising display that reminded me of the power and panache of recent performances I’ve witnessed from Svartidauði and Misþyrming. That good.

It’s both sad and cool at the same time that so few people appreciate such incredible talent but, for my money, Ash Borer are close to untouchable. They deliver in the live arena and they also deliver on record. Third full-length, ‘The Irrepassable Gate’, is easily as good as anything they’ve recorded previously and this 53-minute epic comes into its own in the double-vinyl format, with tasty gatefold sleeve and a download card thrown in for good measure.

Shame really that the flow is interrupted between ‘Lustration I’ and ‘Grey Marrow’ but I always seem to find something to moan about. In a world where you can trust nobody, you can at least depend on Ash Borer to release quality material.

Evilometer: 666/666

ASH BORER – BLOODLANDS EP (Gilead Media / Psychic Violence)

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Ash Borer - BloodlandsThe only downside of Ash Borer (and I’m splitting hairs here, as this is a logistical shortcoming that’s completely out of the band’s hands, I guess) is that their records have no European release which, for me, makes them both difficult and (more importantly) relatively expensive to acquire. It’s always worth the effort, though. Everything this band has put its name to so far has been amazing and ‘Bloodlands’ is no exception.

For a so-called EP, this is exceedingly generous length-wise. At almost 35 minutes, ‘Bloodlands’ is actually longer than many Black Metal albums being released these days and I would classify it as an MLP at least. A great record with one epic, stellar track on each side and a download code included for those who want to legally acquire a digital copy. Super stuff, as usual, from the  Californians.

Evilometer: 666/666

ASH BORER – COLD OF AGES 2LP (Pesanta Urfolk)

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Ash Borer - Cold Of AgesI had a friend once who loved football but didn’t have a favourite team. At first, I thought this was unusual. How could you not support a particular team? Surely this would dilute your love for the game? The more I thought about it, the more I realised that he was right not to pledge his allegiance to anybody. When you nail your colours to one mast, then you become blinded by bias and are unable to appreciate fully the brilliance of players on other teams.

What has this got to do with Ash Borer? I hear you ask. Well, nothing, really. But I just realised this morning that I don’t have a favourite Black Metal band. If I was asked who my favourite artists are, I would struggle to name three or four off the top of my head. Not sure why that is. Suppose you have to keep your options open. If, however, I did happen to have a favourite band, then Ash Borer would be close – very, very close – to top of the pile.

Cold Of Ages” is an astonishing full-length that clocks in over the hour mark and really comes into its own in this double-LP format, with each of the four songs afforded its own platform. Musically, this album is pretty much perfect in terms of tone, balance, dynamic, composition and execution. What more can I say? – a truly incredible band and an essential release.

Evilometer: 666/666

THE AGONISING WAIT FOR VINYL EDITIONS

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

You may be wondering why I haven’t yet reviewed interesting new releases from Ash Borer, Baptism, Serpent Noir, Ofermod and  Svartidauði, to name just a handful. The answer is simple: I’m waiting for the vinyl editions of these albums to become available. Hopefully they will start to appear sooner rather than later.

ASH BORER – 2009 DEMO LP (Vendetta Records)

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Okay – I realise it’s only got two songs and I know it’s only 25 minutes long (nearly) but I still couldn’t resist the temptation of snapping up this demo of three years hence once I heard it was available in the glorious vinyl format. Hats off to German label Vendetta for making it happen! Ash Borer is one of the more-interesting bands in the global Black Metal pool at the moment – their split with Fell Voices and debut (self-titled) LP being mandatory – so it was intriguing to take a listen back to their embryonic stirrings.

First off, this sounds like a demo, quite trebly and wobbly at times. Having said that, the production is still pretty damned decent and the melodic parts are crisp, clear and concise. Side A comprises ‘Drukne’, which ranges between harsh and mellow passages, a beautiful helping of prime AB which is easily as good as most of what you’ll hear on a proper album this or any other year.

On Side B, we have ‘Untitled’. Fucking unreal really how many bands are coming up with untitled songs and albums these days. Seems to be the trendy thing. How long before we have an untitled person? Anyway, the song with no name outstrips most nameless, faceless entities I’ve encountered in my lifetime and completes a really, really fine record that sounds to my ears like an improved (i.e. more stripped-down) version of WITTR.

This isn’t overly-expensive to buy, either, and it looks nice in its one-sheet folding jacket. So, all in all, a worthy investment for sure.

Evilometer: 555/666

ASH BORER – ASH BORER LP (Pesanta Urfolk)

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

I was a bit slow on the uptake with Ash Borer, only discovering them rather belatedly through their exceptional split LP with Fell Voices, which was released by Gilead Media a couple of months back (and is also an essential purchase). Thus, I missed out on the original incarnation of AB’s debut album – the cassette version released by Psychic Violence Records (frontman Kyle’s own label, I think). I was therefore greatly relieved and overjoyed to learn that Pesanta Urfolk would give this music the glorious vinyl treatment it richly deserves. A copy was promptly ordered and – despite the high postage cost from the USA – I have no regrets whatsoever about this purchase. In a word, this record is stunning.

Originally committed to 2” tape at Shipwreck Studios in Oakland, California towards to end of 2010, the three tracks that constitute ‘Ash Borer’ are powerful enough to take your breath away. Lengthy exhibits of what is nowadays known as Cascadian Black Metal, they will leave you gagging for more. Similar in feel to bands like the aforementioned Fell Voices and WITTR, Ash Borer deliver raw, emotional BM with more peaks than the Alps, more highs than a party at the Playboy Mansion. Repetitive, simplified, rumbling and oh-so-captivating, this is how Black Metal should sound in 2011. The Europeans may have invented Black Metal but I think they’ve missed a trick creatively speaking.

In the Midst of Life, We Are in Death’ and ‘Rest, You Are the Lightning’ are the two songs on Side A. The former lasts for around twelve minutes and will keep you engaged effortlessly as it switches between all the motions on the darkness spectrum, while there is barely a pause for breath before the latter erupts magnificently through the amp, into the speakers and into thine ears. The incredible 20-minute ‘My Curse Was Raised in the Darkness Against a Doomsday Silence’ on Side B is the coup de grace, an extraordinary work of underground Black Metal that can rub shoulders with the genre’s greats.

In short – without wishing to be overly dramatic or sensationalist – Ash Borer are one of the most exciting new Black Metal bands to emerge in the past decade and this record is utterly mandatory in every way.

Evilometer: 666/666