Review Summary: Raw black metal done right.1 of 2 thought this review was well written
Ash Pool is a newer band in the black metal scene, having only been around for roughly six years. In that short amount of time, they've released two demos, two EP's, and two full-length album. Genital Tomb
is their second demo, released in 2006. The best way to describe Ash Pool's music is extremely raw. There's no other way to put it. No symphonics, no cheesy keyboards, nothing like that. Just straight-up raw black metal.
The first thing that needs to be mentioned is the production values. You're not getting into something that has squeaky clean production so if that's what you're looking for then I suggest you look somewhere else. The production here is very muddy and fuzzy. With that being said, you can hear everything very well. The guitars don't drown out the drums or the vocals and vice versa. The riffs here aren't melodic or anything, but they're very well done. Guitar work here isn't really as repetitive as you'd find on other black metal albums, which is one thing that makes this demo great. There's plenty of variations of the semi-technical riffs played throughout the songs. This demo is very mid-paced for the most part, but still has enough speed that you would expect from a black metal band. Drumming is mostly rhythmic stuff with a few blast beats here and there, but they mostly just keep the pace of the album going.
While this album is mainly focused on the combination of the guitars and drums, that's not to say that the vocals should be left out to dry. The style is actually more death metal sounding than anything else. There's no high-pitched screaming as much as there is a low death metal-esque growl. Sometimes you get some things that will sound more akin to a black metal band, but there's a very large death metal influence in the vocals. However, because of the production, you won't be able to make out a damn word that this guy is saying.
Some bands can't pull off the raw black metal style just because they get too repetitive and monotonous or because the production is so bad that it hurts to sit through it. Ash Pool isn't one of those bands. They pull off the style quite well just by having plenty of variation and having enough talent to make it worthwhile. Is this the best thing you'll ever hear? Probably not. But chances are that if you like black metal, you'll find something to enjoy in this little 20 minute demo.