Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2024
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Privacy Policy

Crown of Asteria > Hexe > Reviews
Crown of Asteria - Hexe

A relaxing and soothing work of BM ambient doom - 80%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, August 11th, 2015

2015 has so far been a busy year for this one-woman black metal ambient act with no fewer than two albums, a split release and this EP in the first six months alone. With just one track titled "... Among the Roots and Soil", the EP can be expected to be a sprawling work but it's actually more structured and focused than sprawling and meandering. For much of its length, this is a very quiet and subdued piece so for the purpose of this review I had to play it at near maximum volume bordering on distortion, and this possibly means I may be missing out on appreciating the recording's dynamics and subtlety.

The track starts to come into its own about the fifth minute and turns out to be as much slow burning doom as it is ambient BM. The pace is glacial and the style quite minimal, and a sense of either awe, wonder or dread, depending on the listener's mood, hangs heavily over the music. The long burning guitar drones lay a foundation for what appears to be improvised drumming, and what holds everything together is the background synth and that ambience of mystery and wonder. As the music continues, it acquires direction and rhythm with regular drumbeats. In its last third, the music speeds up and becomes quite aggressive. At this point too the atmosphere starts to overwhelm this listener with the synth wash background becoming quite day-glo intense, like a bright yellow suddenly glowing so much it starts to burn. Eventually the music burns itself out and we are left in a beautiful pristine world of soft mist and unspoilt damp forest.

This is a beautiful soothing and relaxing piece, and if this is what CoA had intended, then perhaps I shouldn't gripe about it too much. I did find it very repetitive and possibly the music could have been edited for length. As I had the music on loud, the guitars and ambience drowned out the drumming so I had only the barest idea that the bashing and crashing noises were probably more complex than they seemed. A casual listener might miss the percussion activity almost completely or consider it just a lot of monotonous banging. For the music to work the way I think it's supposed to, the climax probably could have emphasised the percussion over the synth sounds and maybe the guitar sounds could have been sharper and made to crash rather than fade. As it is, this is quite good and sustained work for a very long track.