Friday, June 14, 2024

Review: Ashenspire – Speak not of the Laudanum Quandary

There’s an awful lot going on here, mainly the sounds of something brewing and then exploding into a glorious void of blackness, however, it is a whirlwind whichever way you look at it and of course, quite intense. Although, vocally it sounds like Alasdair is singing something different other than to what the music is playing. The violin is prominent in the track and really gives it a mournful edge, although it still sounds savage and stirring. Which makes it quite engaging for black metal.

The second track ‘Wretched Mills’ is another intense journey of Avant guard metal which although shines of intensity sounds a little off kilter, but perhaps it is supposed to be that way for a more full on effect. But the instruments really come into their own and once more fever pitch is reached very quickly.

This track ‘Mariner’s at Perdition’s Light’ is rather cold and ambient, sending icy shivers down one’s spine, although this track (for me) does go on a little longer than need be.

‘Grievous Bodily Harmonies’ is a beautiful and passionate piece of writing that is inspiring and beguiling, although the wailing vocals tend to spoil it somewhat. It sounds a bit, no, a lot like progressive and jazzed up to the hilt…

ashenspire‘Beggar’s Belief’ offers some samples at the start and then goes into a huge and thunderous beating of drums. It doesn’t inspire me at all this track as it sounds like a dirge.

‘Fever Sheds’ opens with a haunting violin and intense riffs, but together the track just implodes on itself and rattles off another dirge which can feel a little boring and very noisy.

‘Speak not of the Laudanum’ allows for the piano to come into play with a respectful riff that sounds pleasing to the ears. It’s a temperamental glide into obscurity with all the power of a rhinoceros.

There have been some amazing moments on this 7 track album to behold, with haunting violin and piano that have the ears fully focused, but the vocals have sometimes let the album down a little. At times sounding like the vocals aren’t in keeping with the music and very progressive which can throw you off guard a bit. However, I have for the most part enjoyed the album. It isn’t typical black metal for sure and the operatics on the last track are for me a little overdone!

Ashenspire Speak not of the Laudanum Quandary is released 20th January 2017 via Code 666/Aural Music.

Pagan Hel
Pagan Hel
RAMzine Senior Writer - Although my fingers don't play frets they write with enthusiasm for metal!!!!!!

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