ASVA
What You Don't Know Is Frontier


4.0
excellent

Review

by rasputin USER (196 Reviews)
December 11th, 2008 | 51 replies | 7,740 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A droning work of genius.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

What You Don’t Know Is Frontier is all about atmosphere. The brains behind ASVA have crafted a piece of music, hell a piece of art, that creates an immense, colossal, all enveloping, vast, pervasive and omnipresent atmosphere, one which completely saturates your mind, numbs all your senses, to the point where all you can do is breathe, no live, the album itself. In this regard, it completely achieves its every goal as an atmospheric album; captivating from beginning to end, it traverses moods that are introspectively despairing, vehemently brooding, and downright crushing, aggressive and merciless. It’s an album that does not decay, constantly remaining invigorative and enhancing one’s own emotional outlook, being the bridge upon which the listener steps when exploring the depths of his own thought.

The album opens with the title track, a slow burning epic characterized by its measured and ponderous riffing. In an almost random manner, the riffs are splayed throughout the song, not altering their tempo or dynamics, simply melding into the ambience in which the band’s tasteful use of the organ comes to light. The organ provides the backdrop for the song, giving it a dense aura which supplements the sluggish guitars sublimely. Second track ‘Christopher Columbus’, in a similar fashion, creates a soundscape characterized by a sinister bass lurch, its ominous nature furthered by the constant crashing of cymbals. In juxtaposition to the opener’s sense of might, ‘Christopher Columbus’ is a much darker track, adding constant layers to its already menacing environment before climaxing in an impressive manner. The band’s attention to detail is nothing short of amazing, with each song richly textured as to give them a larger than life feeling; even guitar feedback is used to add extra flavour to the album, used only in certain instances but highly effective in enhancing the album’s mood.

‘A Game in Hell, Hard Work in Heaven’ picks up the pieces of ‘Christopher Columbus’, giving the listener several moments to take in the enormity of the former song’s climax. It then flows into an absolutely emotion-filled and beautiful passage of music, female tribal-like singing lulling you into a trance before the heart-wrenching riffs blow away any empty thoughts in a most poignant and expressive outburst. The album ends with ‘A Trap for Judges’, an enormous twenty four minute track which fuses everything that was already good about What We Don’t Know Is Frontier into a single song, and again proves how successful ASVA are creating an album that is as moving as it is climactic.

As a drone album, What You Don’t Know Is Frontier is incredibly varied, so much so that each of its mammoth songs do not use a single technique found on the others; this in itself is an achievement, but ASVA prove their talent by putting together four grand tracks that do not imitate each other, yet collude as an album superbly. From the very first listen, even considering the use of the word ‘monotonous’ seems preposterous, as it is literally the last word one would attach to the album, even through its most obvious association to the genre that the album belongs to. Ultimately, What You Don’t Know Is Frontier is a journey through your own mind; the album’s intensity never diminishes, and it’s up to you, dear reader, to make of it what you will. Highly recommended.



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user ratings (27)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
December 11th 2008



14538 Comments


I'm unsure why this was put in 'death metal', so as I side note until it's fixed, this is not death metal, it is a drone/ambient album.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
December 11th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This was a frustrating album. I essentially just waited up for the last song which rules.

Slaytan
December 11th 2008



1186 Comments


Just hammering the reviews out, eh rasp? Good job, again.

rasputin
December 11th 2008



14538 Comments


[quote=dfelon]This was a frustrating album. I essentially just waited up for the last song which rules.[/quote]
You didn't enjoy any of the other tracks? It's true the last track rules, but the others are all good in their own rights.

[quote=slaytan]Just hammering the reviews out, eh rasp? Good job, again. [/quote]
yeah I've got a lot of stuff I want to review, and I'm on holidays so I'm just getting through them one at a time.This Message Edited On 12.11.08

Athom
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2008



17204 Comments


Great to see this finally get reviewed. Great work rasputin.

foreverendeared
December 11th 2008



14678 Comments


pretty great review for a disguised tbt. the ambient aspect intrigues me more than the drone aspect

rasputin
December 11th 2008



14538 Comments


The two terms are sort of interchangeable with this album.

ZapatoDiablo
December 11th 2008



167 Comments


Amen, Rasputin. Amazing album.

charlesfishowitz
December 11th 2008



1794 Comments


yeah its an album i like

pixiesfanyo
December 11th 2008



1222 Comments


this is an awe inspiring record. if you read the review on my blog about this it kind of puts the whole thing in perspective. definitely a top ten of '08

charlesfishowitz
December 11th 2008



1794 Comments


no youre dumb

Willie
Moderator
December 12th 2008



15911 Comments


Another excellent review. I love ambient music, but I don't think I've ever hit the drone part of it. This sounds like a good place to start.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

rasputin
December 12th 2008



14538 Comments


Yeah I can see you liking this Willie. Definitely look into it.

AngelPhoenix
December 12th 2008



2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually heard this a while back, very very good. Little on the long side though.

rasputin
December 12th 2008



14538 Comments


Yeah, but I honestly wouldn't be able to pick any parts that could be taken out without making the album inferior. This is bordering on a 4.5 for me, I'm going to give it another listen tonight to confirm.

AngelPhoenix
December 12th 2008



2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A Game is Hell is redonkulous

Zippermouth
December 12th 2008



1305 Comments


Never thought I'd see the day when Doom didn't bore me to death.

SnackaryBinx
December 12th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck yea asva
we want a doom genre!

rasputin
December 12th 2008



14538 Comments


Album rules. This review was for you Snackary wackary.

SnackaryBinx
December 12th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wuvs it very much. I think I should give you my account info and then you'll just post reviews reviews under my name and everyone will think I'm good at reviewing then.



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