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Golden Ashes – A Lightless Christ Shuns the Crown of Divinity

Golden Ashes
A Lightless Christ Shuns the Crown of Divinity
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 05 September 2021, 9:46 AM

From the man that brings you GNAW THEIR TONGUES here comes GOLDEN ASHES, the Atmospheric Black Metal/Drone one-man project by Mories. Drones, keyboards, and synths are the foundation for this celestial album that almost veers towards symphonic ambient. The newest album contains eight tracks.

The title track leads off the album. It opens with a chaotic sound…drums and guitars clamoring, and muted production. I suppose this is normal for Black Metal, but I will never understand how it is supposed to excite the listener. Keys dominate the landscape. The vocal shrieks are harrowing, and the speed at which the song is delivered is quite hasty. “The Spectral Catatonia of Unbearable Despondency” is more of the same. The fast pace is supported by galloping drums and some Symphonic elements. The spoken words are deep and dark, and sound like them come from the devil himself.

“The Day of his Glorious Wrath” sounds like the previous songs…a hastened pace, with plenty of keyboards providing most of the sound, along with a vocal presence that never lets up. “Our Skins Hanging at the Gates of Ctesiphon” is the first track that presents some diversity on the album. Opening with melancholic keyboards, and a sense of the macabre, it takes a while to develop. The slow-moving pace does allow for some more sonority to take shape, but the raging vocals and keyboard-tinged sound still dominates nearly everything. “Bewildered we Watched the Christ Ascend” is another track with a slightly different sound. Backing vocals soar in the background, but the vocals wash out nearly everything else. It’s a shame too, because you can hear the various elements in the background, but just too much going on in the foreground.

“In Agony Beneath the Stars” presents a similar sound once again. Drums roll forward with urgency, and keys control the sound. I never thought I would complain about the presence of keyboards on an album, but when that’s nearly all you hear, it can get old quickly. “The Essence of your Body became Celestial” begins with heavier and slower accents. But the pace quickens to more chaotic sounds as the track rolls forward. “The Twilight Pilgrims” closes the album…it’s a bit shorter of a song, with plenty of organ notes occupying much of the sound. Add in the drums and vocals, and this is about all you can hear. I don’t think there is much in the way of guitars or bass present. It’s like there is a mad scientist behind the curtain, furiously playing echoing organ notes with all of his might.

The combination of traditional Black Metal with Dungeon Synth is a fairly new one for me. But, the tracks were all white-washed with a very similar sound. One-man projects can often present this type of music…once the composer settles on a particular sound, he rarely deviates from it. What results is just a mediocre listening experience.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 4
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. A Lightless Christ Shuns the Crown of Divinity
2. The Spectral Catatonia of Unbearable Despondency
3. The Day of his Glorious Wrath
4. Our Skins Hanging at the Gates of Ctesiphon
5. Bewildered we Watched the Christ Ascend
6. In Agony Beneath the Stars
7. The Essence of your Body became Celestial
8. The Twilight Pilgrims
Mories – Everything
Record Label: Improved Sequence


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