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Background Metal - 75%

GTog, January 30th, 2008

How do you develop a sound in a field of clones? Blot Mine has opted to pick a sound and stick with it until the clones go clone someone else, leaving them. Kind of a unique strategy.

This album opens with Dead Centre, which introduces the listener to nearly all the musical elements you can expect in the rest of the album. On one hand this is what an opening track is supposed to do, on the other hand it leaves little in the way of surprises.

Blot Mine brings a mixture of Black and Death Metal elements to the table with Ashcloud. And before I get flamed by Black Metal purists, no they don't shriek about Satan for 15 two-minute tracks. The lyrical content is fairly mundane.

The Black elements are in the guitar mixing and higher pitched vocals. They could stand to bring up the lead guitar overlay, but the vocals are nicely mixed. The Death elements are very active bass guitar reinforced by the drums without relying on machine-gun double kicks.

With several very similar sounding tracks, Blot Mine doesn't seem terribly imaginative, but I like their sound. If it was shitty and repetitive it would be a different story. They offer a decent track length averaging over 4 minutes, and every one of them is enjoyable.

"Right of Way" Gets into some evil sounding black metal, with slower pace and keyboards joined in the mix. This is markedly different from the first two tracks. "Bolted Down (and Dying)", the final track, is epic-length track at over 8 minutes but is really just a long outro.

Overall I would put any track from Ashcloud into a Black/Death mix. It can get a little boring listened to all at once.