Ash Borer
Bloodlands


3.8
excellent

Review

by Elijah K. STAFF
March 26th, 2013 | 92 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Heroes in a half shell.... TURTLE POWER!

The immediate reaction to Ash Borer’s recent outputs may be one of surprise, as the same group who put out those raggedy cassette demos could not possibly the refined band that has skirted with “mainstream success” as of late. With their self-titled debut, the black metal outfit displayed their raw, aggressive tendencies but all wrapped up in smartly written and atmospheric package. Opting for a cleaner all around sound with a more focused energy, last year’s Cold of Ages showed Ash Borer embracing this spotlight they had found themselves. Drawing some mixed reactions, detractors balked at the glistening production that appeared to signal a loss in what made the band genre darlings. Yet at its core Ash Borer were as much themselves as ever. With Bloodlands, that sentiment is just as true.

Bloodlands is comprised to two lengthy compositions: “Obilvion’s Spring” and “Dirge/Purgation.” At the outset, Ash Borer begin things in an ominous fashion with an atmospheric intro that sounds rather similar to “Removed Forms.” Soon all hell breaks loose in a flurry of rapid fire drums and tremolo picked guitar, all with that Ash Borer gusto. What becomes readily apparent is how different this little EP sounds from the rest of their discography. While not entirely harkening back to their rawest days, Bloodlandsis a much more abrasive affair than the band’s last outing. It’s a bold statement towards those who declared Cold of Ages to be a step in the wrong direction, yet everything that made that album such a success was kept. Both pieces sound incredible, finding a happy medium between everything the band has done up to this point. They complement each other nicely; two grand movements that practice subtlety and ambience as well as cathartic aggression. While not a lot has changed in between releases, Ash Borer have done enough tinkering with the established formula to present some of the best work of their career. The selections here are tight and concise, but each entrance thanks to the band’s ability to weave so many different sounds together and make feel natural.

If anything, Bloodlands is a signal that Ash Borer are still finding their place amongst the black metal ranks. While the formula here is a bit reused (ambient intro, chaotic middle, atmospheric outro), it’s hard to complain when it is done so expertly. Thanks to some smart songwriting and sublime production techniques, this EP stands as some of the best material the California act has crafted to date.



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user ratings (69)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
plane
Emeritus
March 26th 2013


6110 Comments


Yeah boy. Agreed.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


10497 Comments


Isn't this summary pretty identical to your one for Neurosis? It isn't necessarily a problem, but it may best if you change it around a bit.

Digging: bansheebeat - Lumine

Athom
Emeritus
March 26th 2013


17240 Comments


I liked this a hell of a lot more than cold of ages.

zaruyache
March 26th 2013


9283 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The selections here are tight and concise, but each entrance thanks to the band’s ability to weave so many different sounds together and make feel natural.



"Thanks" reads weirdly in this sentence. Are you using it as a verb here?

TheSpirit
March 26th 2013


18583 Comments


fuck these guys where is new fell voices material

Digging: Volahn/Shataan/Arizmenda/Kallathon - Desert Dances and Serpent Sermons

Keyblade
March 26th 2013


16458 Comments


right Spirit? I'm getting restless lol

gonna bump this tomorrow

Digging: Post Malone - Post Malone EP

mindleviticus
March 26th 2013


8534 Comments


Album's great

sixdegrees
March 26th 2013


18924 Comments


yeah, it's better than Cold of Ages

Digging: Sannhet - Revisionist

zaruyache
March 26th 2013


9283 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fell Voices went up for ordering on the European distributor's site yesterday, and the band has their first show in Europe on Friday. Hopefully someone should have the sense to rip that album and put it online within the next week.

alachlahol
March 26th 2013


7583 Comments


cmon xeno stop with the goddamn washed up summaries stop with the:

1. settling into a sweet spot
2. maturing
3. growing up
4. coming into their own
5. this band wants you to know theyre here to stay
6. a truly inspiring progression

shit like that^


makes me not want to read the review. say something sweet like:

"ash borers shit all sounds the same and they sold out and are now one of those bullshit hipster black metal bands but they do write good shit so you can trust this is good.... be sure to put them on your latest digs list"


CaptainHadouken
March 26th 2013


1960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My list of shit to listen will never end. added to it.

Tyrael
March 26th 2013


21003 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is probaby their most consistent piece of work to date, even though their 2009 demo is still superior in terms of songwriting

Tyrael
March 26th 2013


21003 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

best



summary



ever

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


10497 Comments


I don't even think I'm going to use summaries anymore- not really a need, and I like the idea of people having to actually read to get the message!

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013


20758 Comments


I have to disagree. A good summary could hook the reader and make a difference as to whether they want to even read the review in the first place. If you don't have a summary you better have a killer opening sentence.

Digging: The Kinks - Muswell Hillbillies

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


10497 Comments


It depends on your audience, Atari. Pitchfork doesn't use anything of the sort, and I really enjoy going into their reviews without any expectations. Of course, Sputnik caters to a different audience-- I just find myself leaning towards skipping the summary these days.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013


20758 Comments


that's a good point. Obviously it's the content of the review itself that really matters but I love coming up with summaries lol.

Ire
March 26th 2013


41858 Comments


omg dat summary

ITsHxCTOASTER
March 26th 2013


2520 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

dammit dude it's supposed to say HEROES in a half shell jesus

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


3880 Comments


Think you mean "comprised of" instead of "comprised to" in the second paragraph, but otherwise nice work as always



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