Dark Millennium
Ashore the Celestial Burden


5.0
classic

Review

by JasonCarne USER (10 Reviews)
November 20th, 2014 | 106 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An early death/doom metal hybrid that manages to escape the confines of both genres to craft something truly impressive and timeless.

Let's take a journey back in time to 1992, the year where thrash metal would finally start to fizzle out and hand over the keys to the extreme music kingdom to death metal. There was a noticeable transition taking place in the late eighties to the early nineties that substituted pure unbridled speed and shout styled vocals in favor of a more primal, brutal, and low end approach that often delved into crushingly slow and mid-paced songwriting. While a quick tempo was still a major attribute of the early death metal movement, groups like Autopsy, Asphyx, and Paradise Lost had all dabbled with infusing the sludgy and suffocating, slow, dark, heavy riffs into their albums a year prior. However, they did so in a way that just took the extremes of death metal and dialed them back considerably; the grueling pace was set to a menacing crawl oftentimes yielding a sinister and evil atmosphere. While the aforementioned bands had a fair amount of success with that sound, Dark Millennium took this largely unexplored sound beyond what anyone had ever done before infusing melodic riffing and progressive rock tendencies throughout the record and even introducing some cleanly sung passages occasionally that offer a great contrast to Torsten Gilsbach's Obituary-like vocals. This was the record (or one of them) that really opened the door into experimentation in the death and doom metal realm like none had before paving the way for classics like dISMEBOWLMENT's 'Transcendence Into the Peripheral' to venture into new territory in the years to come.

If the album art alone wasn't enough to draw you in, Ashore the Celestial Burden sinks its hooks into you the instant it gets rolling with its magnificent opener 'Below The Holy Fatherlands' with its melodic death metal riffing and its heavy start-stop rhythm section complete with volume swell leads that are to die for that verge on the psychedelic at times. It's a track oozing with atmosphere, dynamcis, ability and evocative storytelling that the rest of the album follows without fail, intertwining melody and intensity effortlessly over its nearly hour long run time without ever feeling stale or repetitive in the slightest. Gilsbach's lyrics land on the more fantastical side than that of the typically brutish and gory variety that death metal groups invoke. He conjures up interesting perspectives and tales of religion and the occult among other vaguely spiritual concepts which lends itself extremely well to the spaced out, progressive and weightless guitar leads that float eerily above the grounded and buzzing rhythm section. Also, on a technical note, the production is astounding for an early nineties album of this style, the instruments all have appropriate breathing room, the bass is audible and full, the leads soar over the dense background music and the vocals fit tightly in-between without any one element competing for center stage.

Doom metal is largely considered a genre that relies less on technicality and musicianship than its cousin genres of death and black metal, but this album is jam packed with interesting and somewhat complex leads that wouldn't feel out of place on an Atheist record; songs like 'Black Literature" and 'The Atmosphere' are more than enough proof of that statement alone. There really isn't much else out there that sounds quite like this record, even their follow up effort Diana Read Peace is fairly different in approach and delivery and leans more towards a progressive sound that carries not quite as dense of an atmosphere and even a Gothic sound to the vocals. Ashore the Celestial Burden carries a uniquely dark tone and angle that makes it their true crowning achievement, and an underground gem that shines brighter than all of the others. This is an absolute must hear masterpiece that took both doom and death metal to new places it had never ventured before while still managing to stay rooted to what makes each genre so great.



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user ratings (56)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
JasonCarne
November 20th 2014


1048 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

First review I've written in quite a while, comments and crits are more than welcome.

SpiritCrusher2
November 20th 2014


6133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review man! this album really needed it, it's truly something special. pos.



can't describe how much I enjoy the vocals here



WELCOME TO THE REIGN OF THE ASHES

WELCOME TO THE HUUUUUUNT

ResidentNihilist
November 20th 2014


1292 Comments


kind of split on seeing this album get some recognition on this site, on the one hand it's nice to see people discovering new music on the other it's going to become the tool for the wankers to overzealously defend osdm and over hype the genre beyond ridiculousness. Review is damn good though the album sadly isn't.

JasonCarne
November 20th 2014


1048 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Resident - You don't like this record? Curious to hear why.

ResidentNihilist
November 20th 2014


1292 Comments


too disjointed, it either can't take one idea and run with it or it just drags ideas out for too long and doesn't really know where to go with some of them. Also the leads and riffs aren't that interesting and the vocals are pretty bad tbh.

Keyblade
November 20th 2014


27194 Comments


Aww man this actually got a review. A nice one too, good job yo

JasonCarne
November 20th 2014


1048 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I couldn't possibly disagree with you more Resident, but I guess we just have different opinions on this one. It hits all the right notes for me (obviously).

emester
November 20th 2014


8261 Comments


This needed a review. Its one of the best Death Doom albums out there

Digging: Big Thief - U.F.O.F.

Funeralopolis
November 20th 2014


14296 Comments


About time someone reviewed this! Album rocks.

Digging: Deathspell Omega - The Furnaces of Palingenesia

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 20th 2014


18436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice, I was gonna review this but now I don't have to, pos'd

Digging: Flying Lotus - Flamagra

JasonCarne
November 20th 2014


1048 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks everyone, and yeah with the attention this record has been getting over the last week or so (whether that spawned from my list or not) I figured it was time someone reviewed this.

ShadowRemains
November 20th 2014


25007 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

kind of split on seeing this album get some recognition on this site, on the one hand it's nice to see people discovering new music on the other it's going to become the tool for the wankers to overzealously defend osdm and over hype the genre beyond ridiculousness. Review is damn good though the album sadly isn't.



too disjointed, it either can't take one idea and run with it or it just drags ideas out for too long and doesn't really know where to go with some of them. Also the leads and riffs aren't that interesting and the vocals are pretty bad tbh.




what the fuck are you talking about

JasonCarne
November 20th 2014


1048 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah I really had no idea what he was talking about in that first comment.

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
November 20th 2014


19985 Comments


the vox rule and so do the riffs

good review

BallsToTheWall
November 20th 2014


49617 Comments


"kind of split on seeing this album get some recognition on this site, on the one hand it's nice to see people discovering new music on the other it's going to become the tool for the wankers to overzealously defend osdm and over hype the genre beyond ridiculousness. Review is damn good though the album sadly isn't.
"


Sputnik 101 right here people. This is what you don't want to post while on sputnik. Don't be this guy.

Digging: Pantera - Power Metal

AnimalsAsSummit
November 20th 2014


3895 Comments


wow this looks amazing tbh

emester
November 20th 2014


8261 Comments


it is

JasonCarne
November 20th 2014


1048 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

it is [2]

AnimalsAsSummit
November 20th 2014


3895 Comments


whelp, it looks like this is a discog worth obtaining so i will experience the glory soon enuff

AnimalsAsSummit
November 20th 2014


3895 Comments


whelp, it looks like this is a discog worth obtaining so i will experience the glory soon enuff



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