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Ashtar - Ilmasaari Award winner

by Calen Nesten at 19 June 2015, 9:49 PM

Damn, Switzerland, are you only populated with doom-bands? I'm not complaining, but I do expect an answer by tomorrow. Hailing from Basel, Switzerland is ASHTAR, a doom band incorporating elements of depressive-metal and sludge. The duo has been together since 2012 and has spent the last three years producing their first full-length album “Ilmasaari” which is set to be released in June of 2015. ASHTAR gets a bit repetitive with their use of long, droning riffs with little change up. I normally get sick of a band when they use this technique, but ASHTAR never becomes stagnate. Instead, they find a way to take each track and add a special kind of subtlety to it that keeps the lengthy tracks interesting. Sometimes it's quick and brief time changes, in many tracks the volume becomes distorted and seemingly random instruments are placed throughout the album. Along with the sickly, almost otherworldly vocals ASHTAR draws the listener into the dark, hypnotic atmosphere that is ever present in “Ilmasaari”. The album may sound dark and brooding but it almost takes on a mystical tone, even with the grating vocals “Ilmasaari” seems to have the power to enchant and lull you into a meditative state. Not surprising for a band named after a (now mostly defunct) UFO cult, the amazing water-colored cover art also helps create the feeling of some sort of magical transcendence. “Ilmasaari” is an impressive feat for only two people, hell, neither of them even played much guitar before forming the band and they play all the instruments themselves. That's true dedication and shows how hard they are willing to work for their artistic vision. “ Ilmasaari” is simply beautiful; ASHTAR has created an esoteric metal masterpiece that should not be ignored. The album is currently available in downloadable and hard-format with the vinyl set to be released later in the fall, right before ASHTAR's planned winter/spring tour. So pick up your copy, play it in a dark room with plenty of candlelight and prepare yourself for a unique doom experience!

5 Star Rating

1. Des Siecles Qui Eternellement Separent Le Corps Mortel De Mon Ame
2. She Was a Witch
3. Celestial
4. Moons
5. These Nights Will Shine On
6. Collide
Witch N. - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Marko Lehtinen - Vocals, Drums, Guitar
Live members:
Matthias - Guitar
Fredy - Guitar
Record Label: Czar Of Crickets Productions


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