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Ash Pool > World Turns on Its Hinge > Reviews
Ash Pool - World Turns on Its Hinge

Likeable debut needs more individual style - 70%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, October 1st, 2007

Seeing that one of the two guys in this duo Ash Pool is Dominick Fernow who runs the noise electronics project Prurient and the label Hospital Productions which releases a lot of noise music as well as black metal, you might expect the band to have a harsh noisy and blurry sound. The surprise though is that musically there's not much evidence of noise influence and this debut album has a clean and clear sound and is more technically adept than you might think. The band's style is very raw and aggressive with a varied pace and it is very punk / garage rock in approach. A number of tracks like "shade of rape" and "penetrated slave" even boast poppy guitar hooks. What's not a big surprise if you know something of Prurient / Hospital Productions' release history is that the two guys share vocals and both can remind listeners of early Akitsa: as with that band, one guy here deals out higher-pitched vocals and specialises in screaming until nearly half his guts must be blown out and the other member specialises in lower-pitched singing and gets close to a death metal style of delivery.

As the album progresses the music changes from very minimalist neo-primitive BM blasts of spitfire guitar to more technically proficient songs with defined riffs and nudges in the direction of death and doom metal respectively in "rapist's thrusts" and "the sin of nature is the sin of god". The best song on this ablum comes about halfway through, this is "under zyklon blue" which is different from all the others, having a dark and funereal mood, a raw steely sound, the most despairing and deranged screeches combined with deep-voiced spoken and sung vocals, and creepy ambiguous lyrics referring to a long-past genocide.

Ash Pool's connection with noise is mainly in the lyrics which among other things embrace a perverse sexuality and exaggerated misogyny and sexual violence. The lyrics can be pretty graphic and brutal in an over-the-top cartoony way and I get the impression the two guys egged each other on to write the most extreme and disgusting things they could think of between drinks when writing material for the album. As with UK noise electronics band Whitehouse whose songs often have very little context so there is no way of telling what the Whitehouse guys are thinking about the subject matter they deal with, so too with Ash Pool you cannot tell whether they really sympathise with the victim or the perpetrator of the sadistic acts depicted in the lyrics. In "rapist's thrusts" the horrifc description of the body festering under its various sores and boils could apply equally to the rapist or to his victim.

This is a likeable album if you don't take most of the lyrics too seriously and though I'm a sucker for records where men out-scream, out-emote and out-opera-diva the women, Ash Pool do lean heavily on the Akitsa vocal influence - compare Ash Pool's "penetrated slave" with Akitsa's "Champ de bataille" from their "Aube de al misanthropie" demo and you see what I mean - and need to develop a more individual style of BM while still retaining that crazed attitude. At present the band is rather like Akitsa / Burzum-style Odinpop - meets - Whitehouse (Peter Sotos era) with a bit of technical death metal influence showing here and there