Ahamkara
The Embers Of The Stars


3.8
excellent

Review

by Metalstyles EMERITUS
February 16th, 2015 | 29 replies


Release Date: 02/23/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Traditional enough, diverse enough, contemplative enough

Ahamkara’s debut is one of those albums that’s hard to either oversell or undersell. It’s modern atmospheric black metal that’s well-played, featuring long songs full of many bends, a sufficient amount of black metal grit, and a tortured vocal performance. The Newcastle-born project traverses the ground, both the atmospheric black metal and imaginative one, very well, and while there aren’t any grand surprises along the way, it’s a pleasant stroll the band takes us on. Pummeling-yet-melodic sections of black metal are coupled with ambience usually reserved for gazing into the night sky, while waves of synths roll in and out of the picture. Mood-wise, The Embers of the Stars is uncharacteristically cool for black metal, even if the shrieks of Steve Black try to prove otherwise, yet that isn’t a disadvantage in any way. If anything, it gives Ahamkara a very real chance to stand out among the blizzard conjurers of the North who usually dominate Europe’s black metal scene. Ahamkara don’t breathe a storm into life with their music; instead the guys behind the project seem like the type to watch a storm from afar for inspiration, calmly contemplating over the phenomenon that passed them by and making mental notes, whilst the waters of Tyne soak their feet and the moon lights their thoughtful faces. At least that’s the imagery I draw from The Embers of the Stars, since there’s a sedative tranquility apparent under the shrieks.

One of the greatest qualities about the type of metal that Ahamkara play is that it fits with every season and nearly every mood, if done well. It’s the kind of music you put on whenever you want to isolate yourself from the unwanted and immerse yourself in whatever it is you choose to, whether it be your surroundings or your thoughts. That sedative quality under the metal side of Ahamkara is the real reason the band’s music succeeds where many others of its kin do not. There’s palpable, engaging beauty in the mix, and it isn’t there just for the sake of musical diversity or artsiness – it’s there for real, ingrained into the atmosphere Ahamkara present on their debut. Once the opener "Midwinter’s Hymn" hits its stride, you do not want to look over to the pause button. You don’t even want to look at your mp3 player, or any screen for that matter, for the album is great for concentrating on the moment. It may not be Wolves in the Throne Room-level modern atmospheric black metal, but it isn’t miles behind either. The Embers of the Stars is a determined first step, and I don’t want to say "for a debut," because that would undermine how solid the record really is in both its compositions and execution. There’s a lot to like here, and Ahamkara’s aspiration to play their favorite style of metal to its full potential is certainly commendable.



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Emeritus
February 16th 2015


8574 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

It's been a long time since I've written a review so this is probably as rusty as a bucket full of old nails, but I gotsta get back into the swing of things!

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 16th 2015


31452 Comments


Good to see you back at it! Nice review, I will never listen to this album. =)

Digging: Bad Books - III

Metalstyles
Emeritus
February 16th 2015


8574 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks and I didn't expect otherwise! Out of curiosity, have you ever actually given atmospheric bm a listen?

Observer
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2015


6833 Comments


sounds like a beer jam given paragraph 2.

Digging: Fishmans - Long Season

Metalstyles
Emeritus
February 16th 2015


8574 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Less of a beer jam, more of a clear head, wow what is this feeling I'm feeling at the moment I like it jam. Then again it could be a beer jam, haven't drank to this album - you're gonna have to let me know.

ExplosiveOranges
February 16th 2015


4408 Comments


traverses the ground, both the atmospheric black metal and imaginative ones,

"Ground" is singular, but "ones" is plural.

Ahamkara don’t breathe a storm into life with their music; instead the guys behind the project seem like the type to watch a storm from afar for inspiration, calmly contemplating over the phenomenon that passed them by and making mental notes, whilst the waters of Tyne soak their feet and the moon lights their thoughtful faces

Kind of a mouthful. I feel like you could break it up into two or three sentences.

The type of metal that Ahamkara play, one of its greatest qualities

I feel like this would read better if you worded it the other way around, like: "One of the greatest qualities about the type of metal that Ahamkara play". Just a personal thing, though.

Other than that, nice concise review. Good to have you back, Magnus.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2015


24689 Comments


nice review gonna check this out. just a heads up i think you need to edit the release date (comes out feb 23, 2015 from what I can see)

Digging: Telethon - Hard Pop

Metalstyles
Emeritus
February 16th 2015


8574 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Re: point 1 - thanks man, I wrote that sentence in so many different ways that I guess my eyes just didn't catch that upon posting.



Re: point 2 - I don't really see a good cut off point. I can take out the part starting with "whilst..." if you see it as superfluous, though imo that part especially connects with what I'm saying in the next sentence.



Re: point 3: Will change.



Re: Oranges - what's up dude how ya been?





Atari: yeah, the release date is definitely wrong, good catch. Enjoy the album!

zaruyache
February 16th 2015


21102 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

The CD/vinyl/cassette/whatever might come out on that date (not sure), but this was released digitally like

mid-2014, and then he got a label's interest so it's coming out physically this year.





One of my favorite bm albums of last year, glad this got a review. :-D





edit: and this guy is also the keyboardist for Wodensthrone, which is really cool, too.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2015


18560 Comments


This looks very interesting, I'll check it out. Great review, ghost pos

Digging: The Haxan Cloak - Midsommar (Original Score)

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2015


9629 Comments


Adding this to my next wave of 2015 listens. How are you Magnus?

cvlts
February 17th 2015


9595 Comments


Just noticed Bindrune posting about these guys this morning. The rec's by reviewer makes me want to check it out.

Digging: Lingua Ignota - Caligula

zaruyache
February 17th 2015


21102 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this is more akin to Black Cascade than Two Hunters imo, though.

RivalSkoomaDealer
February 17th 2015


1629 Comments


Definitely gonna check this out. Great review.

Digging: Torche - Admission

michaelmyerstbh
February 17th 2015


144 Comments


reviews good, sounds good. probably is good.

Wolfhorde
February 17th 2015


15373 Comments


Sounds solid so far. Too bad winter is on the verge of ending over here.

Metalstyles
Emeritus
February 17th 2015


8574 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Same here (about winter ending), but that's fine with me because oddly enough I find this to have more of an early spring vibe. Still cold, but not icy or snowy anymore.



zaruyache - I actually do agree with you on the Black Cascade point. Two Hunters is just my favorite, so I naturally went with that haha. I think I'll change that though.

Evreaia
February 18th 2015


5083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gotta check

zaruyache
February 19th 2015


21102 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Wow that's awesome! I hate my family and my rotten kids so there's no telling how much money I could make

without them to

distract me! O: O: O: O:





O:







this post was in response to a spambot comment which has since been nuked to spambot hell. Praise be the mods.

DungeonBoy
April 9th 2015


6209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review for a pretty decent album. Definitely an introspective listen. Midwinters Hymn totally rips.



CAN YOU FEEEEL THE COLD OF WINTER EEEETERNAL!!!

Digging: Andavald - Undir Skyggarhaldi



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