Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lamentations of the Ashen – In the Burden of the Hearts Plaint (Basement Cult Records 2010)

Yet another solo atmospheric metal project that combines the intensity and skill of a full band within a single individual, Lamentations of the Ashen brings the somewhat warm and beautiful melodies of the more avant-garde black metal of Alcest, Lifelover, Celestia, and the stripped down, howling and turbid antics of say Xathur or Burzum.

The album opener, “ Tresses of Enamoured Auburn”, is a 17 minute dense and misty indulgence through tragedy, isolation, and even hope. There are ambient textures, haunting cries, and a solemn melody that all together make this track complex in theme and sound but never distract one away from unintentionally being swept up in it.

“See My Struggle” continues with the howling cries and muddy solemn atmospheres, but showcases more of the tremolo picking and distorted guitar elements that really bring in the ancient and cryptic sound of a skin and bones black metal track. The funereal organ and the echoing of the vocals from behind the mix create a whirlpool of the chills of a deep autumn night approaching.

What really draws me in to much of the avant-garde and atmospheric black metal is the incredible amount emotion that they can capture in the tracks, plus my long running obsession with Ambient/martial/post industrial tunes. There’s almost always a forlorn and tragic feel present, but then there’s some sort of hope or inspiration that shows face for a brief moment, and all the while the tracks are still able to remain in the shadows and exist in condemnation. This album, as do many that go by this style, sounds more like a classic horror, tragedy, or ghost story novel than purely a collection of audio tracks. Essentially, In the Burden of the Heart’s Plaint is a soundtrack for deep thought and inspection.

Band info and contact, audio samples:

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