If you’re a death metal band and you release an album named Children of the Chainsaw, you’d better be playing old-school Swedish death metal, or it’s just a wasted opportunity. Ashcloud do exactly that, but with a few twists to the formula. This is 45 minutes of disgustingly old-school crusty death metal that will clear the cobwebs away with huge gusts of molten fumes.
In true genre-style; as well as the sickening rhythms we get plenty of macabre melodies floating around the tracks. There’s a nice amount of leads on this too, although using the word nice in relation to Ashcloud is a bit of a misnomer really.
The vocals are particularly rabid, taking the energy of the crust influences and running with them. Savage and nasty is what we like, savage and nasty is what we get. With dual vocalists, the approach is diverse and catchy, offering the listener something a bit different from the average Swedish death metal clone.
In fact, even though Ashcloud are ostensibly Swedish death metal, they have a lot of assets that stick out from the average band of this ilk. There’s a bit more going on in the riff department, (hidden under the murky grime), and the songwriting and delivery in general is a bit more varied and energetic than a lot who play this kind of thing.
Overall this is a very enjoyable record. For someone who has a soft spot for this type of music at the best of times, it’s good to see a band that embrace the core tenets of the style while also adding their own stamp and providing the listener with a lot of reasons to stick around.