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Golden Ashes – In the Lugubrious Silence of Eternal Night

Golden Ashes
In the Lugubrious Silence of Eternal Night
by Cherie Wong at 17 June 2020, 8:20 PM

On May 1, 2020, Maurice “Mories” de Jong released “In the Lugubrious Silence of Eternal Night” under the band name GOLDEN ASHES. Mories is a multi-instrumentalist with many musical projects, almost all of which are various forms of black metal. GOLDEN ASHES is no different, though with atmospheric, symphonic, and drone undertones. The musical project’s first release after formation in 2018 was an EP titled “The Desolation,” followed shortly by a full-length release “Gold Are the Ashes of the Restorer” in 2019.

If you’re familiar with GOLDEN ASHES, then this release won’t be anything new. The music is synth-heavy, leading to a symphonic and orchestral atmosphere. Relentless drumming and constant synth create a wall-of-sound effect that is stylistic of drone. However, whether it is due to the wall-of-sound effect or the raw production, the guitars are difficult to pick out. In addition, the screaming vocals are extremely buried in the mix. You have to strain to hear them. Even with the constant drone of noise creating a dense soundscape, the music is not necessarily evil, though it is still anguished and emotional. Instead, the synths provide for a somewhat positive, uplifting atmosphere, in spite of the blast beats. Due to the immense atmosphere coming from the synths and drone, the whole album could be a soundtrack to an epic video game or movie.

Many of the tracks end up sounding quite similar, with the same indistinct droning, blast beats, and symphonic synths. The only differences may be the slightly different melodies heard within each track. If you’re the type to start listening to an album from the beginning, the opening track “As Sacred Bodies Wither Into Nothingness” shows you exactly what you’re in for. Each characteristic mentioned in the paragraph above is present on this track. “Let Death Stalk My Enemies, Let The Grave Swallow Them Alive” is pretty much the same, except for a brief quiet moment with only the synths audible, like a classic atmospheric black metal album. For an example of how the intense synths make it seem as if the album is a soundtrack to a video game or movie, listen to “From Grace Into Utter Ruin.”

To me, the best track might well be the titular “In The Lugubrious Silence Of Eternal Night.” It just doesn’t sound like somebody slapped a blast beat onto the soundtrack from a particularly intense scene in a movie and added some distortion. There is actually some song structure and a few different sounds used on the track.

Overall, I think this album is worth listening to if you’re a fan of atmospheric and symphonic black metal. Unfortunately, I do feel like once you have heard a few tracks, you have heard them all. I can’t help but wonder if Mories’ time might be better spent consolidating the best of his ideas into one project, one album at a time, rather than segregate his ideas into separate bands based on genre differences within the music. If this album does sound like your kind of music, make sure to purchase a LP through Oaken Palace Records, as they are a registered charity and will donate 100% of the profits to help conserve and protect the critically endangered hooded vulture.

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

3 Star Rating

1. As Sacred Bodies Wither Into Nothingness
2. Let Death Stalk My Enemies, Let The Grave Swallow Them Alive
3. Amongst The Mossy Tombs
4. When Every Word Uttered Is As Whip Cuts Into Flesh
5. From Grace Into Utter Ruin
6. In The Lugubrious Silence Of Eternal Night
7. Black Tongue Mouths Murmur Black Prayers
8. Death Came With The Golden Dusk
Maurice de Jong – All Instruments, Vocals
Record Label: Oaken Palace Records


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