Specialising in equal parts brutality, melody and the ethereal. Minneapolis 4 piece, Ashbringer’s black metal metamorphosis began in 2013 as the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Nick Stanger.
Several releases and tours later, they have perfected their craft on their 3rd full length and Prosthetic Records debut album, Absolution. To be released on June 28th, the double LP will be available on black and a limited-edition magenta/green splatter vinyl variant as well as compact disc and all digital outlets.
Sometimes a word perfectly encapsulates a band’s sound. A word that when spoken, written or heard tells the would be listener exactly what they can expect. With Ashbringer that word is ‘ethereal’. A word that describes the four-pieces perfected blend of heavy black metal and melody. Absolution sounds like it comes from places unheard of or lost to time.
Eight tracks of post-black metal wonder that is part savagery and part beauty. It’s an epic that demands ever inch of you with the promise that it will be worth your investment. We see that with the peacefulness that blends perfectly with blasts of ferocity on the title track. The guitar melodies playing off the rawness of the black metal sound well.
Whereas the title track was a great opener, Wilderness Walk takes it to a new level with some absolutely stunning guitar rhythm, the kind that envelops you and captures the spirit of unnatural beauty perfectly. Melancholy personified and the dreamy nature sets the bar at an impossibly high level. A bar that Dreamscape sees and has no problem trying to conquer thanks to a bit more urgency across its 10 minute run time. A much developed layer of black metal heaviness, it more then satisfies.
Mellow acoustic and the familiar whine of electric guitars combine with the pained vocals of Shrine of Loss. Picking up in force to give a much richer and meatier depth as it goes on. Before the two parts of Eternal Separation arrive. The former is lighter in tone and with a slower tempo even when the aggression is increased whereas Part 2 is an urgent and desperate sounding track. Both are bloody wonderful though.
Keeping with the theme of the album as a whole, Spiritual Architecture is another really lengthy one. However, here it’s all melody with guitars and piano only for a shockingly emotive tune. Wonderful and setting the scene for one final post metal epic.
Ashbringer are a force within the genre and Absolution just cements their place at the top table.
Ashbringer – Absolution Full Track Listing:
2. Wilderness Walk
4. Shrine of Loss
5. Eternal Separation Pt. 1
6. Eternal Separation Pt. 2
7. Spiritual Architecture
8. Threshold of Existence
Ashbringer - Absolution (Prosthetic Records)
- The Final Score - 9.5/109.5/10