Editor's Rating

Have a listen to: "Tidal Verse"

8.5

Vehement – Ashes

Release Date: 6th October
Infernum Records

Brightonian black metal outfit Vehement’s second album Ashes is an accomplished statement of expansive extremity. With a vast dynamic landscape, the often six minute plus tracks have enough twists and turns for attentions not to wain. Their first release with new label Infernum Records, ‘Ashes’ is an impressive affair.

Title track ‘Ashes’ throws epic Nordic sounding guitars in a soundscape of grand proportions. A great barometer for the quality that is exuded from every sinew of Vehement’s line up over the record. ‘Carapace’ is of an introspective nature that unfortunately falls short of the levels of the albums other tracks. It still serves as an important break in the album with some fantastic effects adding vibrancy to an otherwise lightweight track.

‘Thematic’s opening walls of sound barrage the listener as though they were hulking waves, what then ensues is a blackened epic of the highest order. The progression of the song is quite breathtaking, going through a multitude of interesting avenues without ever outstaying its welcome. The off kilter Gregorian drawl that features is an intriguing prospect, dominating the mix when present with its haunting atmosphere.

‘Burden’s Root’ is a ripping track that features those bellowing clean vocals front and centre. The bass lines that deviate from the rhythm guitars and the intricate drumming patterns of Andras add to this audio feast with outstanding performances from beginning to end. The harmonised moans of leave this world behind” feel like pure Emperor worship at its best. Its massive hooks are typical of the rest of the record, such a wonderful sense of scale and structuring is idiosyncratic of ‘Ashes’ as a whole.

The riff that opens final song ‘Tidal Verse’ has a clear ‘Mother North’ influence with its melodic traits and scatter gun feel. The cries of frontman as he screams “The Melancholy Burns” is sensational as the tempo grinds and sludges. This is how black metal should sound at its best, with an epic structure and a multitude of great riffs the track caps of a fantastic record.

Well polished and well written, Vehement have created an awe inspiring example of black metal mastery. Cleary there is more to come from a band with such rampant creativity even at such an early stage in their career. An exquisite delight to listen to, this sophomore record is a devastating statement of intent.

For fans of: Satyricon (early), Emperor, Windir

For more Vehement

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