Ashen - Ritual of Ash (2023)
Perth, Western Australia
No introductions needed for these old school death metal project from Perth, Australia. We’ve previously reviewed their E.P “Godless Oath” and were excited to be contacted about their debut album “Ritual of Ash”. This album features members from Neverborn, Nexus, Darkenium, Vespers Descent and The Burning and has been released by Bitter Loss Records.
“Ritual” starts off with a sample and the music hammers in with an old school death metal sound that leaves you grooving and headbanging. The vocals are deep in the roots of death metal and brutal death metal with influences such as Mike Åkerfeldt reign in bloodbath. The guitars twist between heavy groove to tremolo riffs. Sounds of synth in the background conclude this track.
“Deadsight”- eerie soundscape of hell starts this track off and shifts into more of the old school sound. You can hear a US death metal influence with tight, double layered guitar and an evil and fast feel. The drums are epic in this album- with fantastic double kicks. At the 2:16 mark- the track slows down into just the distorted bass that sounds grotesque as fuck. The guitars join with the same riff and slams right back into the main riff at the end.
“Harbinger” synth starts this track off and shifts into a melodic guitar piece until the 0:41 mark. The evil and brooding riffing with groovy bass lines and drums blasting away in the back of this track adds a catchy feel. At the 2:08 mark, there’s a shift back to the sad melodic riffing and then the main riff until the end.
“Threshold” starts off with chuggy and groovy riffs. The main riff has a very death and roll feel with six feet under influence. The heavy and groove altered riff ends this track.
“Blood” starts off with an evil, blackened riff. Brooding yet emotive builds leaves you headbanging and cold at the same time. A real evil track. with melodic death metal influences of darkness, as it finishes with a very lo-fi of the at blackened riff at the start top track by Obscvre.
“Cursed Rebirth” an occultic build up shifts into a jumpy riff style remiscient of Swedish DM. Ashen make it their own style with brooding, blackened riffing style. “Cursed Rebirth” finishes with the most evil, chugging riff and very deep vocals.
“Embrace Extinction” starts with an old school guitar riff then slams back into the death metal. Grindy twists and turns shift in this track until the end.
“Gravemind” - a sample starts this track off. The music starts with deep growls of darkness and death with very catchy cavernous riffs style. It gives a mental picture of exploring the catacombs and walls of skulls with the dead rising again as you open the tomb.
“Buried In Ice” starts with a full-on build in the music and growls reminiscent to Johan Hegg from Amon Amarth. That guitar stylings of the track made it in their style resulting in a truly cold track. It inspires images of someone buried in the permafrost of a snowy mountain.
“Inhuman” is the final track of “Ritual of Ash”. Slow groovy, death riff rumbles at the start of the track. A brooding, tremolo riff continues on and then back to the groovy, mid paced guitars. Throughout the track, the vocals are deep and some are reminiscent of the black metal style. The track was definitely “Inhuman”.
Overall, if you like 90’s death metal with a modern feel and hints of Swedish and US scene- this one is for you. Until next time- keep the black, brutal, and thrashy flame alive.
1. Ritual 4:15
2. Deadsight 4:17
3. Harbinger 3:32
4. Threshold 3:30
5. Blood 4:01
6. Cursed Rebirth 3:58
7. Embrace Extinction 3:05
8. Gravemind 3:42
9. Buried in Ice 3:24
10. Inhuman 3:51
CD/Vinyl/Digital: Ritual Of Ash | ASHEN | Bitter Loss Records (bandcamp.com)
Apple Music: Ritual of Ash by Ashen on Apple Music
Youtube: (6) Bitter Loss Records - YouTube
Facebook: (1) Facebook