Ash Borer and Fell Voices
Split


4.5
superb

Review

by B R A N D O N S C O T T USER (103 Reviews)
January 7th, 2011 | 209 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: what all the fuss is about

Although both Ash Borer and Fell Voices have been around since 2008, they didn't earn widespread appreciation until their tours earlier this year. Hailing from Santa Cruz, California's Fell Voices' close association with the Cascadian black metal scene has obviously benefited the group, and their pairing with one of the Cascadian region's rawer projects, Ash Borer could not have been more perfect. Comprising of two fantastic tracks, Ash Borer and Fell Voices' joint effort is just another example of why these two bands are completely dominating the USBM scene.

In one fell swoop, Ash Borer's sole, untitled track essentially shatters the the preconceived notion of what Cascadian black metal can sound like, instead creating a single, complex track. Innovative, dynamic and absolutely enthralling, Ash Borer's use of powerful melodies in abstract song structures keeps the twenty one minute "untitled" track a compelling listen throughout. Exploring many elements over its length, Ash Borer successfully weave their personal brand of Cascadian black metal inspired melodies amongst riffs imbued with both unbridled aggression and skillfully executed dissonance. When it comes to writing a clever transition, guitarists A. and K. certainly get creative; it isn't uncommon to find an extreme change of pace, from hideously fast black metal propelled by furious blast beats and A.'s tortured rasp to slower, strikingly melodic drone-infused black metal. Showing a strong relationship with their roots while displaying a roughened edge that makes them all the more appealing, Ash Borer's ascension into the upper echelons of the USBM scene was not only inevitable, as "untitled" exhibits, it was well-deserved.

Following up from their amazing 2009 full-length, Fell Voices once again deliver the very best drone -influenced black metal the United States has to offer. Using repetition to their advantage, Fell Voices ability to compose material that is both long yet interesting has improved a great deal from their self-titled debut album.. Once again led by the fantastic drumming of a man simply known as Mike, both guitarist Tucker and bassist/vocalists Joseph's repeating chords never tire, taking their own time to unravel, and betray all the keen melodic progressions hidden within the music's undercurrent. Simple, melodic, yet gripping when Tucker goes all out, his one of a kind guitar tone, perfectly highlights the dense rumbling of Joseph's atmospheric bass playing. All of this is fueled by Mike's tumultuous drumming, which is always truly an unpredictable but never disappointing element to the music.

With 2010 providing a wealth of amazing black metal releases, the Ash Borer/Fell Voices union's success in light of such competition really stands as irrefutable proof of the immense talent these bands possess. Both splendidly diverse while still having just enough in common to accompany each other comfortably, both Ash Borer and Fell Voices have easily crafted a split that will officially herald their positions as two of black metal's best bands.



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user ratings (64)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSpirit
January 7th 2011


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can't decide whether I like the Fell Voices or Ash Borer side better but both songs/bands rule regardless!

Digging: Wreodan Heahl - Laecig

Wizard
January 7th 2011


19493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Define Cascadian black metal because I'm unfamiliar with the style. Thanks for rec'ing this btw, love this quite a bit. Great review as well.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

TheSpirit
January 7th 2011


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Karl. Cascadian black metal is a bunch of bands from the Cascadian Mountain Region in Washington who play atmospheric black metal styled somewhat after Wolves In The Throne Room (though with usually more folk influence) and (usually) have lyrics about nature and folklore. Ash Borer is from the same area and has strong ties with the scene but musically is actually pretty different than the other bands from the region.

pillowswantyoursoul
January 7th 2011


923 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This stuff is incredible. Good review btw.

Wizard
January 7th 2011


19493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sounds jizz-worthy, I need to look further into that scene.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011


16433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Beware Karl, while there are plenty of good releases from it there is also a bunch of shit. This rules, though.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011


7311 Comments


At a glance, I would pos, but there are lots of niggling details that made me not want to read beyond the first paragraph:

Although both bands have been around since 2008(,) it wasn't truly (until?) their renowned touring session that took place earlier this year that Ash Borer and Fell Voices really started to get the attention they deserved. Hailing from Santa Cruz, California Fell Voices('s) close association with the burgeoning Cascadian black metal scene has no doubt benefited the group, and their pairing with one (of) the Cascadia's rawer projects, Ash Borer could not have been more perfect. Comprising of two fantastic tracks, Ash Borer and Fell Voices joint effort is just another example of why these two bands are completely dominating the USBM scene.

Many of the sentences also read awkwardly; most are run-ons, too.

I'm going to wager that the rest of the review has equal need of a proof-read, and I don't feel like slogging on. Maybe I'll come back later - that way hopefully some proof-reading has been made, and the (well-thought out, I'm sure) content has been given justice.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but writing without editing = don't do it.

TheSpirit
January 7th 2011


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's okay, it's appreciated feedback... I need to hear this kind of stuff if I want to improve. So thanks, and I'll go throw it in a bit with some fresh eyes.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011


16433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

He's right Brandon, there are an unusual amount of grammatical errors in this review.

For example, this sentence:

Never ones to shy away from using a simple, yet gripping melodic approach, Tucker often utilizes his one-of-a -kind, guitar tone to play strong, resonating and hypnotic melodies, that with the guitars thin frequency and emphasis on tremolo perfectly allows the devastating rumble of the bass to permeate the maelstrom of locomotive percussion Mike has made a staple within Fell Voices.


Is a complete train wreck. Always use a apostrophe and an "s" to show possession, so it would be "with the guitars' thin frequency". There are also numerous commas that are misused and the last part of the sentence where you talk about the drumming and how it's a staple within the band makes no sense the way you word it.

There is trouble with the genitive case, commas and awkward wording throughout the review.

BallsToTheWall
January 7th 2011


44598 Comments


The member/members of Ash Borer must be pleased of sputnik continuously sucking it's dick.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

TheSpirit
January 7th 2011


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I feel like my writing it on a lot of adderrall probably didn't help, I just wanted to get it done.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 7th 2011


7311 Comments


I'm glad you're cool man; I just thought I'd point it out, because the review seems REALLY interesting - but being packaged in a flurry of grammatical errors is kinda disheartening.

Look forward to checking out your eventual changes! Cheers!

TheSpirit
January 7th 2011


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, they'll be coming soon!!

jingledeath
January 7th 2011


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I prefer the Ash Borer side but yeah split is superb

TheSpirit
January 7th 2011


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Okay, I gave it a good edit, got rid of a lot, added a bit and definitely cleaned up grammar. Irving, Kyle, someone look it over!!

wyankeif1337
January 7th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

FUCK YES BEST SPLIT EVAR

fulgrim
January 7th 2011


1542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, the USBM scene definately gets a lot of love on Sputnik. This is a good release though.

TheSpirit
January 7th 2011


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes it is. The USBM scene rules pretty hard though tons of amazing bands

Ire
January 7th 2011


41795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nifty

SCREAM!
January 7th 2011


10206 Comments


Nice review. This needed one and hopefully you won't get the ridiculous "omg review ruined album" comments

Personally prefer the ash borer side to the fell voices side and really ash borer in general over fell voices



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