Ashbringer – Absolution (Review)

Ashbringer - AbsolutionAshbringer are an atmospheric black metal band from the US and this is their third album.

Ashbringer’s black metal combines aggressive blackness with melodic sensibilities and folk-influenced post-rock reflection. Elements of bands such as Fen, Agalloch, Falls of Rauros, Amiensus, and Alcest can be heard, but moulded and channelled through Ashbringer’s own collective experiences and personality.

This is an album that’s emotive and expressive, both in the vocal delivery and in the musical performances and songwriting. It’s an emotive and textured collection of long tracks, one which easily engrosses as the songs unfold.

Frequently slow and mournful, the music drips with emotion and evocative melodies. The album is atmospheric in a warm and involving way. This is music that wants you to be a part of it, not some frosted blackened creation that’s standoffish and distant, with its glacial mountain peaks. Rather, Absolution takes you into its world eagerly, fully immersing you in its wild and characterful environment. There’s still danger here though, so be careful where you venture.

The music clearly has a black metal core, but there are a lot of atypical or non-black metal influences and melodies that can be detected across the 68-minute running time. Ashbringer are very much about embracing their own atmospheric brand of post-black metal, rather than adhering to whatever this week’s scene purists might expect of them. Absolution walks its own blackened path, paying attention to what came before it, but ably striking out into the wider metallic wilderness on its own.

An engaging and immersive album, Absolution is a recommended listen for fans of post-black metal that takes the listener on a journey into new worlds.

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