Review Summary: On Old Earth, Ehnahre slow things down while still fucking shit up
It’s perfectly fitting that Ehnahre take so long to arrive at their first burst of thick, dissonant, noisy death metal because it’s not this
sound but rather the spaces in-between that characterize Ehnahre’s latest. Featuring former members of Kayo Dot, their mesmerizing blend of avant garde, doom, and death metal is introduced with new levels of ambience and droning riffage. While the slowness may irritate some, I find their newfound patience captivating. This more creative approach displays a sense of self-awareness and powerful subtlety that would be right at home in a Kayo Dot record (even if the two aren’t exceedingly sonically similar). The creative icicles form by the moments in the music lingering seconds and minutes longer than I expect them to, accentuating the sense of dread and atmosphere throughout, particularly on the first two tracks. “Old Earth II” is perhaps the most visceral, with its spidery, fractured, and doom-y lurches. Reversely, the third track is purely metal-- a flurry of slow-motion heaviness that hinges less on the shadowy atmospherics and more on the jawcrunching death-doom more akin to previous efforts. If reactions to Old Earth
grow divisive, as I assume they may, it won’t be very reflective of Ehnahre’s efforts here but rather indicative of their audience’s preferences. While those looking for more in terms of high-octane bombast and growls galore will almost surely put down their headphones in disappointment, Old Earth
shows ample progression for Ehnahre and showcases how restraint and subtlety can add more poignancy to as well buttress songwriting.