Here we have a little over 60 minutes of music from a talented UK band that have only just properly come to my attention, despite a friend of mine telling me to check them out when this album was originally released in 2017. It’s definitely my loss, as Asheran is ambitious and huge in all of the best ways.
Combining elements of doom, progressive, sludge, atmospheric, and post-metal into a wide-ranging sci-fi themed release, the music on Asheran displays a depth and substance that’s lacking from the output of many bands.
Weaving a layered, textured sound into a multifaceted tapestry that the band wrap around their music like a natural second skin, these songs are in turns heavy and aggressive, intense and fierce, expansive and atmospheric, introspective and heartfelt. Yep, Asheran has a lot to offer any listener that’s partial to music with soul and a comprehensive emotive core, while also having the ability to crush and demolish when it chooses to.
Echoes of Mastodon at their most progressive can be heard, but Dvne take their progressive exploration to places that Mastodon have never ventured. Mix in some of Sorxe‘s wonderfully-conceived progressive sludge, some of Inter Arma‘s progressive know-how, and a helping of Cormorant‘s melodic might, and you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect on Asheran. However, there’s so much more here to explore.
There’s a stoner metal feel to some of the riffs, and I like it when the band almost become lost in one of the self-created labyrinthine psychedelic workouts that they occasionally unleash. Crushing sludge aggression can sometimes be heard, as can gentle post-rock resplendence. This really is an album that covers a lot of ground.
Asheran feels like a journey, a varied and exciting adventure into lands unknown. The songs are so well composed that each track feels like a world all of its own, flowing together to create a cohesive universe of different possibilities and sights to be seen.
Asheran is a hugely impressive work of epic, grandiose progressive art. If I would have heard this album in 2017, you’d better believe it would have graced my end of year list in a high position.