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Fell Voices / Ash Borer > Ash Borer / Fell Voices > Reviews > TheSpirit
Fell Voices / Ash Borer - Ash Borer / Fell Voices

Ash Borer/Fell Voices - Split - 90%

TheSpirit, January 7th, 2011

Although both Ash Borer and Fell Voices have been around since 2008, they didn't earn widespread appreciation until their tours earlier this year. Hailing from Santa Cruz, California's Fell Voices' close association with the Cascadian black metal scene has obviously benefited the group, and their pairing with one of the Cascadian region's rawer projects, Ash Borer could not have been more perfect. Comprising of two fantastic tracks, Ash Borer and Fell Voices' joint effort is just another example of why these two bands are completely dominating the USBM scene.

In one fell swoop, Ash Borer's sole, untitled track essentially shatters the the preconceived notion of what Cascadian black metal can sound like, instead creating a single, complex track. Innovative, dynamic and absolutely enthralling, Ash Borer's use of powerful melodies in abstract song structures keeps the twenty one minute "untitled" track a compelling listen throughout. Exploring many elements over its length, Ash Borer successfully weave their personal brand of Cascadian black metal inspired melodies amongst riffs imbued with both unbridled aggression and skillfully executed dissonance. When it comes to writing a clever transition, guitarists A. and K. certainly get creative; it isn't uncommon to find an extreme change of pace, from hideously fast black metal propelled by furious blast beats and A.'s tortured rasp to slower, strikingly melodic drone-infused black metal. Showing a strong relationship with their roots while displaying a roughened edge that makes them all the more appealing, Ash Borer's ascension into the upper echelons of the USBM scene was not only inevitable, as "untitled" exhibits, it was well-deserved.

Following up from their amazing 2009 full-length, Fell Voices once again deliver the very best drone -influenced black metal the United States has to offer. Using repetition to their advantage, Fell Voices ability to compose material that is both long yet interesting has improved a great deal from their self-titled debut album.. Once again led by the fantastic drumming of a man simply known as Mike, both guitarist Tucker and bassist/vocalists Joseph's repeating chords never tire, taking their own time to unravel, and betray all the keen melodic progressions hidden within the music's undercurrent. Simple, melodic, yet gripping when Tucker goes all out, his one of a kind guitar tone, perfectly highlights the dense rumbling of Joseph's atmospheric bass playing. All of this is fueled by Mike's tumultuous drumming, which is always truly an unpredictable but never disappointing element to the music.

With 2010 providing a wealth of amazing black metal releases, the Ash Borer/Fell Voices union's success in light of such competition really stands as irrefutable proof of the immense talent these bands possess. Both splendidly diverse while still having just enough in common to accompany each other comfortably, both Ash Borer and Fell Voices have easily crafted a split that will officially herald their positions as two of black metal's best bands.