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Ashen – Godless Oath Award winner

Godless Oath
by Leanne Evans at 12 October 2021, 6:31 AM

Hailing from Perth, Western Australia, old school-style death metal band ASHEN have slayed in the deathly realms of the metal world since 2019, gracing our ears just a couple of months back with their debut EP, “Godless Oath”. These sonic savages aren’t entirely new to the scene, in fact, they’ve all been playing in bands together, in various forms, for over a decade in the likes of VESPERS DESCENT, BURIAL GROUND and WATERCOLOUR GHOSTS.

Clearly inspired by the sound of classic death metal soundscapes, ASHEN impress with five strapping tracks, unapologetically delivering incessant blows and bloody bludgeoning of burly, brutal proportions. The nod to their old school forefathers can be felt, with the bygone flavour of the likes of OBITUARY, DISMEMBER and BLOODBATH coursing through with visceral appeal. Title-track, “Godless Oath”, is a seething opener for the EP, brooding as a mid-tempo cut, with a minacious aspect of lulled, shrouded bass lines, penetrating with simple, but overpowering, aggressive structure. The temporal shift to add a few flecks of grooves gives a BOLT THROWER meets BLOODBATH appeal, the gritty riffs hook in hard and the commanding growls rip through your core and blast you apart. It’s safe to say that the opener gets your attention, like a rocket up your jacksy, pretty damn quick.

Moving forward to the second track, “Mass Cremation” is an insidious creation of gargantuan measure. ASHEN don’t piss about with this beast, from the inebriating Peter Tägtgren BLOODBATH-era output to Richard’s vocals, the menace that tears through, chords that rip; this delectable delight has you prepping for mass slaughter of your enemies… I mean, who doesn’t want to be accompanied by such a delicious cut to cull and harvest souls?! Then we move to the devastating “Ruins” that growls as much as it eviscerates. The chugged riffs grab you by the short and curlies, melodically exploding with entice as Richard’s splitting guttural growls pelt from up and deep inside the bowels.

ASHEN then drop something decidedly different in the form of “Asphyxiant”, which suffocates with its mephitic vapours of despair, reaching down your throat to wrap around and wrench at whatever it can lay its putridity on. The bass tone alone will have you intoxicated, and you’ll be hypnotised under the spell of the dissonant, minor timbres of the entire composition; personally, this is my highlight of “Godless Oath”. Wrapping up this short, but sweet, bit of death divinity, “Inferno” is ablaze with stomping sonics and sounds straight from the pits of hell. It’s like you’re dancing with the Devil himself on this one… and it’s bloody awesome.

There’s some sterling releases in the land of Death Metal right now, but this… well, this is incredible, next level even! As a starting point for a band, this is a balls-deep opener, a bit of foreplay from ASHEN, if you will, that’ll get you wetter than an otter’s pocket and yearning for more. “Godless Oath” is a fabulously, filthy listen, with well-thought grooves in all the right places and fantastic musicianship. Quite honestly, I can’t wait to be ravaged by their next release, the EP is a tease-and-a-half; I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Godless Oath
2. Mass Cremation
3. Ruins
4. Asphyxiant
5. Inferno
Richard Clements – Vocals
Shannon Over – Guitars
Josh Harris – Bass
Ben Mazzarol – Drums
Record Label: Bitter Loss Records


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