The American black metal band ASH BORER can be characterized as new-comers to the scene, as their story trails back to 2009 and includes two full-length records. Their third one, “The Irrepassable Gate” comes, as the year is fading away into the past, to renew the ambient black metal scene, which suffered the absence of many popular bands this year.
As expected, the record includes six tracks, two instrumental and four with vocals, kicking off with the ‘The Irrepassable Gate’. The record is not offering any singles. It is a record that the listener needs to experience as a whole. It is an inner trip into black metal’s shadow paths. With slow guitars and melodic riffs, the tracks at points can be characterized as blackened sludge, at least in my honest opinion. ‘Grey Marrow’ is a fair example of the previous claim, with the whole track to be progressing through the slow-paced, haunting guitars to lead into a burst of blackened vocals. However, ASH BORER have also included dynamic moments, aggressive and warm-hearted.
“The black metal fans will find gold within stone, while other may skip this record.”
The record is lacking of flexibility and sometimes it gives in into humdrum loops. The band showed more dynamic creations in the past, while in ‘The Irrepassable Gate’ they seem not coordinated with what they can accomplish. Nonetheless, paying attention to the details, because black metal is more than a music genre, can reveal inner aspects of the record that are not noticeable from ground zero. It is all about esotericism and how one can perceive music after all. ASH BORER prepared the ground for that, creating some of the most ambient and spiritual riffs ever.
The black metal fans will find gold within stone, while other may skip this record. ASH BORER managed to create something to preserve their legacy, but not ascend it, make it shine.