Ash Borer

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.

Obsidian Tongue – A Nest of Ravens in the Throat of Time Review

Obsidian Tongue – A Nest of Ravens in the Throat of Time Review

“Say what you like about the U.S. black metal scene, they know how to make so much out of so little. The number of American bands taking black metal in its arguably most minimalistic form and taking it in much more ambitious directions with long and winding song structures is quite staggering. But when you consider the roots of the black metal scene in the US, and the opus that made arguably the biggest impact on it, it doesn’t seem so surprising that so many bands follow almost directly in the footsteps of Weakling‘s widely acclaimed album, Dead as Dreams. Noctus traces the family tree of USBM and gives a little insight on how it influences the new opus from Obsidian Tongue. BTW, that name sounds like a fruity tropical drink that comes with a tiny umbrella.