Ash Borer
Bloodlands


3.8
excellent

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
March 26th, 2013 | 95 replies | 10,025 views


Release Date: 04/01/2013 | 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 (55)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 26th 2013



10593 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I dig it.

plane
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013



6094 Comments


Yeah boy. Agreed.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013



10070 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: The Contortionist - Language

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013



17204 Comments


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

zaruyache
March 26th 2013



6280 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?

Digging: CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

TheSpirit
March 26th 2013



17739 Comments


fuck these guys where is new fell voices material

Digging: Emarosa - Versus

Keyblade
March 26th 2013



14720 Comments


right Spirit? I'm getting restless lol

gonna bump this tomorrow

Digging: Strawberry Switchblade - Strawberry Switchblade

mindleviticus
March 26th 2013



8220 Comments


Album's great

sixdegrees
March 26th 2013



16951 Comments


yeah, it's better than Cold of Ages

Digging: Ted Nugent - Shutup&jam!

zaruyache
March 26th 2013



6280 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



7487 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"


Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 26th 2013



10593 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I'm terrible with summaries you guys this isn't anything new.

Whatever I will think up something else :- /

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



20828 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

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 26th 2013



10593 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

It was either that or "I tried to have sex to Ash Borer once but it was weird and we stopped."

Tyrael
March 26th 2013



20828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

best

summary

ever

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013



10070 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



19672 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.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 26th 2013



10593 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Mx is a big fan of them if I remember correctly

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013



10070 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.



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