Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Cascadia at its best - 86%

ultraviolet, May 4th, 2012

Strange as it seems, given it’s hype, I never was the most devoted fan of the Cascadian scene. I surely have worshipped Weakling’s full length and I definitely respect and embrace the WitTR offerings but as a whole this scene seems to me like rendering the same theme over and over again. Which, since we’re talking about blackmetal, is not a bad thing, but it’s also not something that would make me stand up and shout “yes! here we are!”.

So, when records like Ash Borer’s debut self-titled full length emerge, I find myself puzzled. At how this band sounds more unique than the average Cascadian band and what is it that drew me into their realms with such virtuosity. Thinking about it, a part of the answer here is as simple as that: “DRUMS!”. Yes, it’s the beating of the drums, similar to that marching tone in the opening track “In The Midst Of Life, We Are In Death” that give new levels to a track. This is a fact not at all irrelevant if we consider that beating something would be the most primitive way to provide a distinctive sound and it’s kind of disappointing that many bands, claiming to play primitive music, forget about their drums and percussion.

The other part of the answer why Ash Borer are a unique band to my ears, is that more than anything else they produce EPIC songs. Their guitars are narrative, their themes have a continuation helping to build images of times long or maybe of times to come since history tends to “repeat” itself. Ash Borer do not sound nostalgic or painful or mourning, they just sound “onwards to battle”. And given the lack of lyrics, I have the freedom to conjure this ancient (or future) battle up in my mind and this is all about art in the end.

I could possibly write more about the menacing riffs of “Rest, You Are The Lightning” or the marvelous melodic breaks of “My Curse…” that wisely avoid falling into post-(black)metal mediocrity. However, what matters most is that here we are talking about a record of 40 minutes and 3 tracks that flow like a grand river, sometimes in cascades and other times quietly and steadily until the final purification when it meets the vastness of the ocean. This is a small triumph of the Californians, awaiting our embrace…

Originally written for: