Review Summary: Helliconia!
The genres of Stoner and Doom Metal always fascinated me, but only on a theoretical level. You see, I always did my best to like them, but their execution, which calls for lengthy, overly ambitious and overwhelmingly crushing with its heaviness music, just never sat all that well with me. I understand that that is what it is supposed to be like, but the artists don’t even try to differentiate their songs in any way; instead they just pile up a bunch of long obscurities so heavy it overshadows any song-writing beauty. And that is what never sat with me. It just always slipped away. But with Dvne’s brainchild that is Asheran
I can finally report that an album of that genre managed to wow me in all the right ways.
That’s the thing with Asheran
, it is not tiring like most other Stoner/Doom records. You could call that a step into accessibility, but do not mistake it for a fall into simplicity. The album is still backed head to toe with a mass of progressive instrumentation, devastating production and trippy song-writing. It also doesn’t shy away from experimenting with genres, like on the song “Thirst”, which strikes with almost Black Metal flare, or all of the times the album comes off as more of a Progressive Metal affair. The vocals also quite frequently jump from ravaging growls to clean, but shredding chants.
So if it wasn’t yet apparent, this album is fantastic. And that’s actually surprising, considering it is done with the genre’s most typical ingredients, overwhelming length, menacing tunes and heaviness one can hardly withstand. But unlike most of its contemporaries, Asheran
doesn’t let go of its strong grip on you. It never slows down and it never softens, but it also knows how to present a versatile package of instrumental and musical extravagance. It is as fantastical as its album cover suggests.