Ash Borer

Predatory Light – Death and the Twilight Hours Review

Predatory Light – Death and the Twilight Hours Review

“Kyle Morgan gets around. The versatile guitar player features in Ash Borer, Superstition, Vanum and, most relevant here, Predatory Light. What stands out about each of the first three projects is the unique sound they bring to their respective sub-genres; whether the cavernous malevolence of The Irrespassable Gate, or the passionate intensity of Ageless Fire, there is a cutting edge to separate them from pretenders. So the somewhat milquetoast first album from Predatory Light, 2016’s Predatory Light, came as a bit of a surprise. Its somewhat formulaic combination of doom and black metal caught Mark Z. on a good day, but even he felt more innovation was required. Six years later, and Predatory Light are back with Death and the Twilight Hours.” Pale horse on the plague playground.

Vanum – Legend Review

Vanum – Legend Review

“When I reviewed Ageless Fire on this very site, I described Vanum‘s sound as “black metal without cross-genre bells and whistles,” and this is absolutely still true. It’s a different beast than Yellow Eyes or Ash Borer,, principle members M. Rekevics and K. Morgan’s other bands, in that it has never tried to be anything but a love letter to black metal days of yore. Bathory has always been a touchpoint, but perhaps the most noticeable change on Legend is just how hard Vanum lean into their Quorthorniness.” Quorthorn the raven, eat my sword!

Vanum – Ageless Fire Review

Vanum – Ageless Fire Review

Vanum caught my attention with this gorgeous image of a violent geological process–a particular interest of mine–that is both legibly pictorial and pulling at the edges of abstraction. Tasteful typography and minimal framing compliments rather than competes with the painting. Interest piqued, I dug further and discovered this to be a project of K. Morgan and M. Rekevics of American black metal bands Ash Borer and Yellow Eyes, respectively, both of which I enjoy. Now firmly on the hook, my main question is: does the musical carpet match the visual drapes?” For lavas of fine art.

Terra – Mors Secunda Review

Terra – Mors Secunda Review

“I was rooting for Terra. About two years ago when this English trio released their untitled debut, I thought the group had the potential to breathe fresh life into the so-called “Cascadian” black metal scene that had been losing steam for the past few years. Nevermind that they aren’t technically from the Pacific Northwest…” Cascading is the new voguing.

Ash Borer – The Irrepassable Gate Review

Ash Borer – The Irrepassable Gate Review

“I will admit off the bat that I did not know what I was walking into with Ash Borer. They were a random pick, as our promo sheet is currently blacker than an Ad Reinhardt ten-part series on being born blind. I missed the boat on the so-called “Cascadian black metal” scene after several unsatisfying jaunts with Wolves in the Throne Room, but I’m down to see what all the hype is about.” Hype can truly be a bore.

Predatory Light – Predatory Light Review

Predatory Light – Predatory Light Review

“As much as I hate to admit it, my appreciation for doom has declined over the years. Back when I was first getting into metal, I remember scouring the doom metal Wikipedia page for info on the genre and purchasing all the My Dying Bride, Katatonia, and Swallow the Sun CDs my minimum-wage high school job could afford. But in recent years, I’ve become too impatient to sit and ponder dreary sadboy melodies or chords that reverberate for ten seconds at a time.” What’s the rush?!

Terra – Untitled Review

Terra – Untitled Review

“I loved the Cascadian/post-black metal craze, but let’s be honest: that bubble burst at least two years ago. After the umpteenth Wolves worshipper appeared (Addaura, Alda, Ash Borer – need I move past the ‘A’s?’), the mystique wore off and the music turned predictable.” Spring has sprung, and in case the snow hansn’t cooled your outlook, here’s some black metal to further harsh your mellow.

Woman Is the Earth – Depths Review

Woman Is the Earth – Depths Review

“It’s as if a new black metal band emerges from America every day, always with long song lengths and minimalistic ideas. Before I know it, a band is in their third album cycle before I’ve given them the time of day, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to care about every other Ash Borer clone that pops out of the wilderness. But this band deserves attention because they’re one of the few to really get what music like this should be about – energy and atmosphere.” Noctus wants you to pay attention to this band, so you best do so.