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Ashen Crown – Obsolescence

Ashen Crown
by Liam Easley at 05 November 2019, 11:12 AM

The United Kingdom is bountiful with good Death Metal acts, one of which is ASHEN CROWN. Combining BOLT THROWER-like riffs with modern elements, their debut album “Obsolescence” is a riff-laden exercise in brutality.

While this album has plenty of riffs, none of them are particularly revolutionary. They are all unoriginal, but they are also very inspired. They mostly evoke BOLT THROWER or BENEDICTION, but the band executes the music so well that the unoriginality can be overlooked.

Starting with “Unbroken Faith,” the album picks up a lot of kinetic energy. The track introduces the record as a hard-hitting riff fest. The track also has very nice songwriting, featuring bells in the eerie intro that make a reappearance during a Doom Metal-type breakdown near the end. While the breakdown would have been better if it were more drawn-out, it was still a good way to conclude the track.

Good songwriting is something that this band seems to keep in mind for almost every song. Most of the tracks progress smoothly through the guitar riffs and the drum-induced groove. “Fall of Thine Eyes” and “Crimson Sea” are two good examples of this. The latter of the two includes a very nice clean guitar interlude that the band climbs out of flawlessly.

The songwriting also shines in the riff writing. The band utilizes harmonics in their music, giving it a touch of MONSTROSITY’s later work. This is seen a lot on “Right to Rise,” one of the album’s strongest tracks. With a flow that is started with the intro and progressing with utmost ease, the track shows the best sides of the band’s songwriting and riff writing capabilities.

However good the songwriting is for the majority, there are times where it falters, specifically on “Blood Beneath Us.” The track is nicely transitioned into from the previous track, and it immediately goes into a SLAYER-like riff. This riff is very refreshing among all of the heavy, brutish Death Metal riffing, but the riff is only in the intro. It would have been a much more effective song if the intro riff were repeated at least once more in the middle or near the end of the song. Otherwise it doesn’t feel like part of the song.

Ashen Crown wrote a great debut. With influences all across the board, the band pushes limits to deliver absolutely crushing Death Metal. While it is nothing original or groundbreaking, it is definitely well-written and interesting enough to maintain someone’s attention for the duration of the record.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Unbroken Faith
2. Crimson Sea
3. Ultimatum
4. Right to Rise
5. Guilty of Hatred
6. Blood Beneath Us
7. Fall of Thine Eyes
8. Under the Leaves
Phil – Bass
Mike – Drums
Jay – Lead Guitars
Ste – Rhythm Guitars
Kieran – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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