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Asgrauw - Façade

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 05 October 2022, 3:18 PM

To use the Mother tongue on songs in each Metal genre one can think of is not a young feature. In reality, many bands did it in Brazil in the late 70’s and early 90’s (acts as CENTÚRIAS, SAGRADO INFERNO, HOLOCAUSTO, VÍRUS, and many others did it) before this tendency arose again during the Second Wave of Black Metal in Norway, Sweden and Finland. In Brazil, the causes are all linked to the poor educational system (the ones who spoke English can be said as 10% of the Brazilian total population, because one must pay for a course of it), and maybe overseas it’s a form of attitude. And even in this trench, the Dutch trio ASGRAUW presents a very good work on “Façade”.

The album’s songs reveal a classic Black Metal act in the vein of early works of SETHERIAL, DISSECTION, ANCIENT, MAYHEM and ROTTING CHRIST, or in other words, a band that uses an Old School Black Metal model with harsh and subjective melodic background (and the vocals use a different set of tunes, not the usual shrieked tunes). It’s really not something new at all, but expressed in a personal way, full of that morbid energy and with remarkable catchy ambiences (and in some moments, that introspective set of hooks can be heard due the presence of some keyboards parts), and with some influences from other extreme Metal genres. It’s a very good work, indeed. The sonority of “Façade” is something that tries to resemble to the old days of the past in many points (especially on the instrumental tunes), to create the moldy and morbid ambience for the band’s songs. But there’s a clear need to be heard and understood, because things are defined. It could be better (the keyboards are too loud in many moments), but for the fans of the genre it won’t be a problem.

Musically, “Façade” is a mature and very good album, with many excellent moments, as can be heard on “Versplinterd Hout” (the rhythmic contrasts are very good, expressing in the best way possible the musical ideas of the band), “Geketend” (the melancholic feeling in some moments is similar to the same one found on Pagan/Viking Black Metal acts, boosted by the excellent keyboards parts, and what good guitar riffs), “Zielloos” (the use of some clearer vocals tunes is really very good, matching with the nasty and funereal instrumental sheath), “Tussen Willen en Kunnen” (the chilling ‘ice storm’ sensation that some band inflicts on the fans can be heard on this one due the set of tempos used, what means that bass guitars and drums are working in a great form), and “As Van de Doden”. But all the songs are really what Old School Black Metal fans are looking for.

“Façade” is a very good album, indeed, but the feeling that ASGRAUW can do even better is clear. And I truly hope to be surprised in the future by their music!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Versplinterd Hout
2. Geketend
3. Zielloos
4. Offerande
5. Tussen Willen en Kunnen
6. Hernemen
7. As Van de Doden
8. Levenswaan
Vaal - Guitars, Vocals
Kaos - Bass, Vocals
Batr - Drums
Record Label: Death Prayer Records


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