Posts tagged california.

Sete Star Sept on Flickr.

Sete Star Sept on Flickr.

Zoloa on Flickr.

Muknal on Flickr.

White Manna review / interview thing from Mojo Magazine. Photo by me.

Crag Dweller (Portland, OR) playing at The Logger Bar in Blue Lake, CA on March 29, 2013.

Telefawn playing at The Facement 3.28.13 — Last show.

Komatose (Arcata, CA) playing at The Big Tree last night. Check them out on their west coast tour starting Tuesday!

Willy the Goat (see video in previous post) gains more notoriety with this name drop at the beginning of this great Humboldt Live Session featuring Eureka’s LOST LUVS shot by Chuck Johnson!

Arcata, Calif., quintet Ash Borer, however, are far from a Weakling ripoff— they’re not even a Wolves in the Throne Room ripoff, or any sort of ripoff at all. While creating a sound that is distinctly American in execution, the band’s five members pull together to impart their own distinct sonic sensibilities onto their winding, droning sagas; there is plenty of doom and gloom lurking beneath their second album Cold of Ages’ malevolently sharp black metal riffs and grating howls. The nearly 17-minute-long opener, “Descended Lamentations”, is a cold, eerie offering, chaotic and intense, populated by harrowing melodies and desperate, heaving wails. Ash Borer’s accentual use of keys adds just the right touch of Northern chill to the proceedings, especially during the track’s opening moments. Meticulously timed and purposefully varied, “Descended Lamentations” veers between hypnotic and harrowing; it wouldn’t make sense as a shorter composition, and each second has its purpose. “Phantoms” carries on into murkier territory; the chords are less bright, the tempo slower, the mood darker. The pace picks up, as it always does, and “Phantoms” rages against the dying of the light before sinking back into silence. The soft to loud dynamic is alive and well, and translates nicely into Ash Borer’s somber, smoldering tunes.

"Convict All Flesh" starts out drowning in reverb and droning along in single notes, shuddering along as a dead man’s crawl until a flurry of blastbeats appears and reanimates the doomed soul. A choir of sweet-voiced angels— aka Jessica Way of San Francisco’s Worm Ouroboros— appears to intervene on his behalf, but the Devil’s after his due, and no one is exempt. Roaring into the void, hopeless and bereft, Ash Borer are not a happy band at the best of times, and when they really step back and allow the darkness to seep through, it doesn’t get much more lightless. Finaly, closer "Removed Forms" is muted, strung out along a single note and voiced by that same choir of clear, high female voices until panicky chords signal the beginning of the end and all hell breaks loose. The last few minutes are entrancing, and well worth the wait.

Borrowing doom metal’s syrupy pace and despondent air, cozying up to distorted fuzz and droning reverb, and refusing to veer too far from their ragged black metal core, Ash Borer are many things at once, and nothing but themselves. Their much ballyhooed earlier material (demos, 2010’s excellent split with Fell Voices, and their 2011 self-titled LP) deserved the hype, but with their second long player, things have taken a darker turn. Their debut was rife with the slick, crystalline chords that makes USBM sound so “pretty,” but this time, Ash Borer have gotten their hands a little dirty: Cold of Ages is a big leap forward for a band that had already started out a few steps ahead of the pack.

Pitchfork review of Ash Borer’s new album Cold of Ages on Profound Lore Records.

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Yojimbo on Flickr.

Wilt on Flickr.

GREENBEANS. on Flickr.

untitled on Flickr.

Cigarette Bums on Flickr.